Washington, December 5
The US Senate has unanimously passed a legislation to name a post office in Houston after slain Sikh police officer Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, who was gunned down in the line of duty during a routine traffic stop a year ago.
The US House of Representatives had passed the bipartisan legislation in September to rename the post office at 315 Addicks Howell Road in Houston as ‘Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal Post Office Building’. The bill is now headed to the White House for it to sign into law by outgoing President Donald Trump.
The post office named after Dhaliwal in Houston is only the second American post office named after an Indian-American. The first one was named after the first Indian-American Congressman Dalip Singh Saund in Southern California in 2006.
The Senate also passed the bills to rename another US Postal Office located in Castroville, Texas as the ‘Lance Corporal Rhonald Dain Rairdan Post Office’.
“The US Postal Office on Addicks Howell Road in Houston will now serve as a lasting tribute to Deputy Dhaliwal’s trailblazing legacy for Sikh Americans and religious minorities in law enforcement, while the Post Office in Castroville will serve as a memorial to Lance Corporal Rairdan and his fellow soldiers who fell in the line of duty,” Senator Red Cruz said.
“While we tragically lost both outstanding Americans far too soon, their memory will live on as we honour their many contributions to their country and community. I look forward to seeing President Trump swiftly sign these measures into law,” Cruz said.
Both Lance Corporal Rairdan and Deputy Dhaliwal exemplify the notion of putting their neighbours before themselves, said Senator John Cornyn.
“It’s important for us to recognise these heroes who have done so much for our community, and honouring them with a local post office is a great way to highlight their public service for future generations to come,” he said.
Born in India, Dhaliwal moved to the US along with his parents to Houston where he grew deep roots.
In 2015, Dhaliwal of the Harris County Sheriff’s office, became the first Sikh American in Texas to receive a policy accommodation to serve while wearing his articles of faith, including his turban and beard.
He was the first Sikh police officer to serve in the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and was a role model and trailblazer for Sikh Americans and religious minorities that sought to serve in law enforcement.
On September 27, 2019, Deputy Dhaliwal was killed in the line of duty in service of his community.
“Our family remains grateful for the outpouring of love and support in this effort to commemorate my son,” said Pyara Singh Dhaliwal, Deputy Dhaliwal’s father.
“This gesture will memorialise his legacy of service to his beloved Houston, while also reminding us all to uphold his example and celebrate the diversity that makes our and so many other communities strong,” he said.
“We are very glad to see the Senate pass this important resolution and send it to the president’s desk” said Sim J Singh, Sikh Coalition Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy.
“Signing this resolution into law and commemorating Deputy Dhaliwal in his city is an important way to affirm both his legacy and the fact that conscious efforts towards diversity and inclusion serve our communities well,” he added. PTI