Two Indian-Americans running a grocery store in the US state of Indiana have been shot dead by masked men during a robbery attempt, sending shock waves among the Sikh community in the country.
The victims have been identified as 55-year-old Jagtar Singh Bhatti from Preet Nagar in Jalandhar and 20-year-old Pawan Preet Singh from Munnan village in Hoshiarpur, according to the North American Punjabi Association (NAPA).
Two masked men shot and killed store owner Jagtar Singh, and his employee Pawan Preet at Middlebury Street in the northern Indiana city of Elkhart Thursday, NAPA executive director Satnam Singh Chahal said citing information received from the victims' families in India.
Jagtar Singh was running his grocery shop for the last seven years and was living with Palwinder Singh Bhatti.
According to another store employee Bill Sinclair, he was in the store's kitchen when he heard a noise like the pop of a firecracker.
Two girls standing outside told him that two men in masks ran from the store, and when he went inside, he saw Jagtar Singh and Pawan Preet had been shot.
Condemning the deadly attack, Chahal said due to the growing killings, the Sikh community is living under the shadow of fear and insecurity.
NAPA in a statement urged the US government to leave no stone unturned to take all necessary measures to protect the lives and property of NRIs.