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Cruel déjà vu for Sikhs in US: a racial slur, followed by an attempt to murder an innocent man wearing a turban

Sandeep_Sing_Run_Over

Another Sikh man has been targeted by ignorant hate-mongers.

Cruel déjà vu for Sikhs in US: a racial slur, followed by an attempt to murder an innocent man wearing a turban

By Sujeet Rajan

NEW YORK: As efforts to stem hate crimes against Sikhs in the US, since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, have increased – including support on Capitol Hill with resolutions and bills, an ad campaign by Gap featuring turbaned actor Waris Ahluwalia, promises by the Justice Department to create more awareness all over the country and ongoing efforts by committed Indian American organizations to profile Sikh culture and their deep roots in communities – hate crimes against Sikhs have only increased.

The most recent example of a cowardly attack on an innocent Sikh man, based solely on his appearance – a turban and long beard – has left a father of two in critical condition, after being run over by a truck by an unidentified perpetrator in Queens, New York City.

According to a report in the Village Voice, last Wednesday, just after midnight, the victim Sandeep Singh, who owns a construction business, and three of his friends were crossing 99th Street at 101 Avenue in Richmond Hill, Queens when they crossed paths with a man in a pick-up truck. Witnesses say the driver called Singh a “terrorist,” and yelled at him to “go back to your country.”

Singh didn’t walk away in the face of such threats. He stood his ground, in fact right in front of the truck and engaged the driver in conversation, telling him that he was not a “terrorist”. His friends in the meantime called 911, to report the incident.

The scumbag who had racially abused Singh, panicked. All his false bravado vanished. And in a murderous attempt, he revved up his truck and ran right over Singh in a bid to escape. Singh got caught under the truck and was dragged for 30 feet, sustaining grievous injuries. He survived the brutal incident, has had around 30 stitches, and will need a skin graft surgery.

“He clung to the bottom of the pick up truck, so most of his injuries are along his back and his side,” says Amardeep Singh, director of programs for the Sikh Coalition, adding: “There’s a lot of outrage in the community. It’s a tightly knit Sikh community and they’ve experienced a lot of hate crimes,” Amardeep Singh says. “There is this frustration about lack of action [on the part of the NYPD].”

Despite numerous surveillance videos capturing the deliberate hit-and-run incident by the white pick-up truck, police have yet to find the culprit.

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