Anti-Sikh violence in US since 2001 | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Anti-Sikh violence in US since 2001

chandigarh Updated: Aug 06, 2012 23:08 IST

The shooting at a gurdwara in Wisconsin is the latest in a number of violent incidents in the United States against Sikhs, who are sometimes confused with another minority community that has faced condemnable racial attacks. Particularly since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US perpetrated by the militant group al-Qaeda that claimed to be fighting in the name of Islam, Sikh men have sometimes been confused publicly with Muslims because they wear turbans and their hair and beards uncut.

Here are some of the incidents against Sikhs in the United States since the 2001 attacks:

* In September 2001, an Arizona gas station owner, Balbir Singh Sodhi, was shot five times and killed by a man who mistook him for a Muslim and was seeking 'revenge' for the hijacked plane attacks on the United States.

* In July 2004, Rajinder Singh Khalsa and his cousin, Gurcharan Singh, were beaten while walking to a restaurant in New York by intoxicated assailants who shouted profanities at them and insulted their turbans. Khalsa sustained multiple fractures to his face.

* In January 2008, Baljeet Singh, 63, suffered a broken jaw and nose in a beating while walking to a gurdwara in New York by a man who swore at him and called him an Arab.

* In November 2010, cab driver Harbhajan Singh attacked in West Sacramento by a passenger who shouted racial epithets at him, called him a Muslim and punched him in the face several times. He suffered spinal and facial fractures. The two men involved pleaded no contest to assault charges.

* In March 2011, two Sikh men shot while taking an afternoon walk in Elk Grove, California, near Sacramento. Surinder Singh, 65, died at the scene and Gurmej Atwal died six weeks later. No one has been charged in connection with the deaths.

* In February 2012, a gurdwara, or Sikh house of worship, in Michigan was defaced with graffiti.

(Sources: RealSikhism, United Sikhs, letter to Justice Department from Representative Crowley, et al, Sacramento Bee, Detroit Free Press)

(Compiled by David Bailey/Reuters)