Sikh group wants resolution to honour hate crime victims

RSTV Bureau

A Sikh advocacy group in the US has sought a resolution to safeguard the victims of hate crime, especially the Sikhs living there. This comes just days after an elderly Indian–American man belonging to Sikh community was brutally assaulted in New York.

The group called Sikh Coalition has urged US lawmakers to support a resolution that honours victims of hate crimes, including Sikhs living in America post 9/11 attacks. The group is urging citizens to contact their Congressional representatives and request them to co-sponsor such a resolution. The Sikh Coalition also said that the resolution would also spread awareness about the community.

The appeal by the advocacy group comes in the wake of a brutal attack on 53-year-old Inderjit Singh Mukker, who is a resident of Chicago’s Darien suburb. The attack happened in New York, three days ago on September 8.

According to reports, the victim was called “Terrorist, go back to your country, Bin Laden!” by his assailant who repeatedly punched Mukker in the face. Mukker bled profusely before losing consciousness and also suffered a severe fractured in the cheekbone.

The suspect is in police custody and the Darien Police Department has assured the Sikh Coalition that they are investigating the matter as a hate crime.

“On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, the violent attack on Mukker is another painful reminder for all Americans that hate remains alive and well in the United States,” said Sikh Coalition’s Legal Director Harsimran Kaur.

“While we relentlessly work to protect Mukker’s rights and work hard to ensure that hate crime charges are pursued in this case, we urge all Americans to reach out to their neighbours to build bridges of understanding. It is through recognizing our collective humanity that we can work together to end hate,” Kaur added.

The group also said that this was a “critical time” for everyone to raise awareness and appreciation about Sikh-Americans.

This is not the first time that an alleged hate crime has taken place against the Sikhs in the US. In August, Sandeep Singh, another Sikh resident of New York City was run over after being called as a “terrorist”. In 2012, a gunman walked into a Gurudwara and killed six worshippers in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

(With inputs from PTI)