A 29-year old Sikh man, critically injured after he was hit by a truck driver, who allegedly used racist slur against him, is demanding justice to ensure such crimes are not repeated and has urged for the need to "create a world without hate".
"My name is Sandeep Singh, I am in a great deal of pain, but I will survive. I was attacked because I am a Sikh and because I look like a Sikh. Justice should be served so no one else goes through what I have been through. We need to create a world without hate," Sandeep, the victim, said in a message posted by the Sikh Coalition, a US-based rights group.
The group will hold a rally in Sandeep's support and demand that the attack against him be investigated as a "hate crime".
Sandeep is currently recovering from the serious injuries he sustained when he was hit by a pick-up truck last week and dragged nearly 30 ft on a public street in Queens, following an argument with the driver who used racist language against him and his friend.
The attack on Sandeep and the rally comes at a time when members of the Sikh community are remembering the Oak Creek gurdwara shooting of August 5, 2012, when six Sikhs were killed by 40-year-old Wade Michael Page in a rampage.
"As the nation remembers the Oak Creek gurdwara massacre two years ago, the Sikh Coalition is working with law-enforcement officials to ensure that the attack on Sandeep is investigated as a hate crime and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," the Sikh Coalition said.
Members of the community and of several other rights groups in the city have expressed solidarity with Sandeep and demanded immediate justice.
The New York chapter of the Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organisation, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-New York), said it would join the Sikh Coalition at the rally to show solidarity with the Sikh community.
The Sikh Cultural Society, Baba Makhan Shah Lobana Gurdwara and United Sikhs are also rallying support for Sandeep.