The second incident of an alleged racially motivated attack on Sikhs in the Richmond Hill area of New York has left the community in shock.
On Tuesday, two Sikh men were assaulted in the Richmond Hill of New York. The incident occurred in the exact location where another community member was attacked earlier this month.
According to local media reports, two suspects hit the men with a pole and removed their turbans.
According to the officials, a 76-year-old and a 64-year-old were approached Tuesday morning by two men who allegedly assaulted them with their fists and a stick.
“The victims were taken to the hospital in stable condition”, police said.
Richmond Hill is also known as Little Punjab for its large population of Indian immigrants.
On 3 April, 70-year-old Nirmal Singh was punched while walking in the neighbourhood. The NYPD had released a surveillance video of the suspect believed to have attacked Nirmal Singh, offering a reward of up to $3,500 for information.
However, it is not yet clear whether the suspect in Nirmal Singh’s case was involved in the attacks on Tuesday.
The Consulate General of India in New York has condemned the assault.
“Assault on two Sikh gentlemen in Richmond Hills, New York is deplorable. We have approached the local authorities and New York City Police Department in the matter. Understand police complaint filed and one person arrested. We are in touch with community members. Ready to offer all assistance to the victims,” they tweeted.
New York Attorney General Letitia James has also condemned the attack.
“Another hateful attack against our Sikh community in Richmond Hill. Both individuals who were responsible must be brought to justice. Anyone with information about this should immediately contact @NYPDnews,” she tweeted.
NY State Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar, the first Punjabi American ever elected to New York State Office, said that there has been an “alarming 200% rise in hate crimes against the Sikh community in recent years”.
“I spoke to the NYPD soon after both of this week’s incidents against my Sikh American family. I am calling for both incidents to be investigated as hate crimes and that the perpetrators be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Ms Rajkumari.
“We will educate all on Sikh culture so that everyone knows as I do the generosity and kindness embedded in the Sikh American community,” Ms Rajkumar, who is a former Director of Immigration for NY State, added.
The attack on the two Sikh men came on the same day as the shooting on a Brooklyn subway that injured 16 people.