Two Sikh men were attacked and robbed in an alleged hate crime nine days after another Sikh man was punched in the same Queens neighborhood in New York City.
The 76-year-old and 64-year-old men went on a morning walk in Richmond Hill when two men approached and beat them with their fists and a stick on April 12.
The victims suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital.
A police complaint has been filed and one suspect has been arrested. The other suspect is still at large. The New York Police Department are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
The assault happened near the area where Nirmal Singh, 70, was punched in the face while on his way to the Sikh Cultural Society at around 7 a.m. on April 3. Singh, who had only been visiting the U.S. from Canada, suffered severe bruises to his face as well as a broken nose and an injured wrist. He has since returned to his family in India.
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The NYPD released surveillance footage of the unidentified suspect on April 6 with a reward offer of up to $3,500 for information leading to the arrest of the man.
The Richmond Hill neighborhood is also known as “Little Punjab” because of its large Sikh and Indian immigrant population.
“It’s another difficult day in the Richmond Hill area, as we learn of a second attack on a Sikh neighbor — days after Mr. Singh’s assault,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards tweeted on April 12. “My office has been in contact with @NYPDQueensSouth to ensure that justice is served here. Queens’ Sikh community deserve nothing less.” “From the senseless shooting in Sunset Park to the horrifying attack against our Sikh neighbors in Richmond Hill, our communities are hurting,” New York City Council Member Shahana Hanif tweeted. “Please look out for each other today—we keep one another safe.” In New York State Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar’s statement on Twitter, she highlighted the “alarming 200% rise in hate crimes against the Sikh community in recent years.”
As the first Punjabi American elected to the New York State Office, she has passed a resolution to recognize April as Punjabi Month.
“We will educate all on Sikh culture so that everyone knows as I do, the generosity and kindness embedded in the Sikh American community, and together with my partners in Congress and the Mayor, we will give law enforcement the tools they need to fully investigate and prosecute these crimes of bias,” she wrote.