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Sikhs in US remember 9/11 victims on 10th anniversary

world Updated: Sep 12, 2011 00:37 IST

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The Sikh community in the US on Sunday solemnly remembered and honoured those who lost their lives in the 9/11 terror attacks as the country marked the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.

"On this day, which affected all, we especially remember our obligation to stand together as One," said Sikh Coalition, an advocacy group of the minority community.

Like all Americans, Sikhs lost friends and colleagues on that tragic day. Sikhs were also amongst the first responders to the attacks, it said.

Doctor Navinderdeep Singh Nijjar set up the first triage centre at Ground Zero on 9/11 and was featured as a "hero" in Newsweek for doing so.

Sikh Coalition reported a suspected arson related to 9/11 early this week in North Carolina. Graffiti stating "911 Go Home" was spray-painted on the wall of the heavily-damaged convenience store three miles south of Hayesville, North Carolina near the Georgia border, it said.

According to news reports, the store is owned by a Sikh family. The Coalition notified the US Justice Department of the suspected arson and urged the authorities to take appropriate action to prevent backlash hate crimes against the community.

"The nature of the crime and associated language seems to suggest that this was religiously/racially motivated. The backlash against the Muslim/Arab community has had a collateral impact on the Sikh community for the last 10 years because of a Sikh's distinctive identity (turban and uncut hair)," said United Sikh, another Sikh organisation.

Even though Osama bin Laden was killed in an unilateral raid by American commandos on May 2 in Pakistan, the wounds of the victims' families, including Indians, remained fresh.