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SOURCE: REPUBLIC

After the hate crime incidents against Sikh men in the United States, the South Asian community has become fearful in New York. Younger Sikhs have started escorting their elders to the temples in Queens neighbourhood, according to ANI. Residents have been frightened after attacks against Sikh men in Richmond Hill where a large number of people from the Sikh Community reside. 

Sukhjinder Singh Nijjar, a representative of the Sikh Cultural Society, after participating in a rally in Richmond Hill on Thursday expressed that “incidents like this make you think again,” ANI cited New York Times report. Gulzar Singh, a construction worker who had moved to the United States in 2015 said that he believed that the first attack was “isolated” and he did “not think anything beyond that.” Three Sikh men have been attacked in the New York city block within 10 days. Gulzar Singh who was heading to work was beaten by two men and the men even ripped off his turban in Queens.

After 10 minutes, another Sikh man, Sajan Singh was attacked by two men who had reportedly beaten him and robbed him. The attack on the two men came nine days after a 70-year-old man named Nirmal Singh was assaulted on the same street. 

Reportedly, the mass shooting in Brooklyn where at least 23 people were wounded has further frightened many people from the Sikh community in the United States. As per the ANI report, two men have been arrested in connection with the attacks. Vernon Douglas has been arrested in connection with the attack that happened on April 4 and he has been charged with assault as a hate crime, robbery and harassment. Hezekiah Coleman has been arrested and charged with assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment and robbery, as per the news report. According to the latest FBI hate crimes report, 94 anti-Sikh incidents were reported to authorities in 2020 in comparison to 44 incidents in 2018. 

The Consulate General of India in New York condemned the assault and vowed assistance to the victims. The Consulate called the attacks on the members of the Sikh community “deplorable” and stated they have taken up the matter with the New York City Police Department and the local authorities. Consulate General of India in New York offered assistance to the victims. The Consulate General of India in New York shared on Twitter, “Assault on two Sikh gentlemen in Richmond Hills, New York today is deplorable. We have approached the local authorities & New York City Police City Department on the matter. Understand police complaint filed & one person arrested. We are in touch with community members. Ready to offer all assistance to the victims.”