NYC Sikhs demand justice after local man is mauled in hit-and-run and called ‘terrorist’
Members of New York City’s Sikh community criticized police response to a hit-and-run attack they are describing as a hate crime, WPIX-TV reported.
“This attack was not only an attack on my husband, it’s an attack on the Sikh community as well,” said Prabhpreet Kaur, whose husband, Sandeep Singh, has been hospitalized since the July 30 incident.
Security camera footage shows a man identified as Singh walking across the street near the corner of 99th St. and 101st Ave. in Queens when an unidentified man driving a pick-up truck allegedly began yelling at Singh and calling him a “terrorist.”
“He said something about, ‘Go back to your country bin Laden,'” Kaur was quoted as saying during a rally in support of her husband on Tuesday. The event coincided with the two-year anniversary of the mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
The footage shows the driver first bumping Singh, then running him over. The Village Voice reported that Singh was dragged on the ground for about 30 feet, and has required a skin graft on top of 20 or 30 stitches to treat injuries to his back and his side.
“I’m in a great deal of pain, but I will survive,” Singh told WPIX in a phone interview. “I was attacked because I’m a Sikh and because I look like a Sikh.”
Local police are reportedly investigating the encounter as a “possible bias incident.” The truck used in the attack has been described as a light colored 2007-2009 GMC 1500 Series Sierra, but no license plate has been identified for it.
However, local Sikh activists have accused authorities of pursuing cases involving attacks against their community with a degree of apathy.
“When these hate incidences occur, the community wants action from the police, and in the back of our minds is the fact that we can’t even serve in the police,” Sikh Coalition program director Amardeep Singh told the Voice, referring to the New York City Police Department’s ban on turbans, which male Sikhs wear in keeping with their religion.
Watch WPIX’s report on the incident, as aired on Tuesday, below.