An elderly Indian-American man belonging to the Sikh community was brutally assaulted in New York, in what is being termed yet another incident of “hate crime” in United States. The victim, identified as Inderjit Singh Mukker, suffered severe facial injuries after being brutally assaulted by an assailant on Tuesday (local time). The assailant, who is believed to be taken into the custody by local police, allegedly used racial slurs on Mr. Mukker.
Incidentally, this brutal racial crime came just a few days before US commemorates the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
According to the reports, Inderjit Singh Mukker, a resident of Chicago, was accosted and subsequently attacked by the assailant while driving down the grocery store. While attacking Mr. Mukker, the assailant allegedly used racial remarks saying, “Terrorist, go back to your country, Bin Laden!”
As per the information provided by an advocacy group, the ‘Sikh Coalition’, Mr. Mukker is citizen of the United States and is also a father of two children. On September 8, while on a way to a grocery store, he was repeatedly cut off by an assailant driving a car. As Mukker pulled over to the side of the road to let him pass, the assailant in the car pulled in front of Mr. Mukker’s car and aggressively approached him before punching him on his face.
The brutal attack led to Mukker losing consciousness and bleed profusely due to fractured cheekbone and a laceration to his cheek. He was rushed to the hospital, where he received six stitches, treatment for lacerations, bruising and swelling. As per the latest reports, Mr. Mukker is now reportedly stable.
“I am thankful for the swift response of authorities to apprehend the individual, but without this being fully investigated as a hate crime, we risk ignoring the horrific pattern of intolerance, abuse and violence that Sikhs and other minority communities in this country continue to face,” Inderjit Singh Mukker said.
Meanwhile, advocacy group, the Sikh Coalition’s legal director Harsimran Kaur claimed the victim was “targeted and assaulted” because of his Sikh religious appearance, race or national origin.
“We request an immediate investigation and call on local and federal agencies to investigate this attack as a hate crime,” Ms. Kaur said.
Unfortunately, this is not a first incident of alleged hate crime in the US. Earlier in the month of 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 shot and killed six innocent Sikh worshippers in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Earlier too, a Sikh professor was assaulted in Harlem and a Sikh pedestrian was forced to remove his turban near the Wall Street.
(With inputs from the PTI/Agencies)