Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar has condoled the death of 80-year old British national Joginder Singh, who was attacked by a teenaged girl in Coventry in August.
In a statement issued here on Friday, Makkar demanded that the attacker, 19-year-old Coral Millerchip, should be punished as per the law for the crime. Makkar pointed out that though Joginder did not die in the attack, he never recovered fully and had to be re-admitted to hospital.
"The attacker was arrested, but she is yet to be sentenced. This process should be expedited as this was a clear case of a hate crime," he added.
Millerchip, who has pleaded guilty, is to appear in court for the sentencing. She was caught on a mobile phone kicking and knocking the victim to the ground.
Makkar appealed to the union government to take cases of hate crime more seriously with countries where these occur. In the past two years, there have been a number of incidents in which Sikhs have been targeted, he added.
He referred to the attack on Prabhjot Singh, an assistant professor at the Columbia University (US) and the targeting of truck driver Jagjit Singh in the US state of Mississippi. He also mentioned the killing of six Sikhs at a gurdwara in Oak Creek (Wisconsin).
SGPC to have global centre in US
In an effort to check hate crimes against Sikhs and spread global awareness of Sikh customs, traditions and religious symbols, the SGPC is opening a Global Sikh Centre for Learning and Information. This centre is proposed to be set up at Yuba City in California (US). The SGPC has already got land for the purpose.
The SGPC has got itself registered in the US so that the land in question at Yuba City could be transferred to the religious body. The SGPC has also opened an account at a branch of the Bank of America in Yuba City.
This global centre will coordinate with the US and other governments worldwide to send a clear message on Sikhism and Sikhs. The aim is to explain how Sikhs with turbans are different from members of other communities or races who also sport headgear.