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This Press Release may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-06-12-2007-00.htm

Press Release: 06th Dec 2007, 23rdMaghar (Samvat 539 Nanakshahi )


Sikh Man Attacked Only Yards From His Doorstep

UNITED SIKHS calls on the Police to step up patrols and install surveillance cameras
as community leader raises concern of increased street crime in the area

Mr. Jodh Verinder Singh, a committee member of the local Gurdwara, said, “We have seen an increased number of youngsters hanging around the streets and feel that we do need more police presence around this area as many children and elderly members of our community walk to the Gurdwara.”

Richmond Hill, New York City - 59 year old Gurjit Singh was viciously attacked during a robbery by three youths, only a few doors away from his home last month. He was dragged to the floor and he laid there helplessly as his attackers viciously kicked and stamped on him while searching his clothing for valuables.

APPEAL
UNITED SIKHS is doing a survey to determine if there is an increase in street crimes in parts of Richmond Hill, NY. If you know of any street incidents or crimes in the area close to the Sikh Gurdwaras in Richmond Hill, please report them to UNITED SIKHS by calling us on 1-888-243-1690 or emailing us at contact@unitedsikhs.org. You must also immediately report the incidents and crimes to the police, as they can only act if they are made aware of such incidents.

Police have not made any arrests and investigations are continuing.

UNITED SIKHS has written to the Commanding Officer of 102nd Precinct, Deputy Inspector Paul Piekarski, calling on him to take urgent action to allay the fears of local residents. We have urged Mr Piekarski to liaise with the Technical Assistance Response Unit (TARU) to instal Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) and to step up police patrols in the area, so that the elderly and children feel safer on the streets.

“We have also written to the NY Committee Head on Public Safety, Council Member, Peter F. Vallone Jr., to draw his attention to the concerns of the local residents, said Tejinder Singh , UNITED SIKHS legal advisor.

“We have been informed by the police that there are presently no CCTV cameras in the area. We are committed to working with the police to ensure that the local community feels safer and that they have confidence in the police investigations to bring the offenders to justice,” he added.

Mr Gurjit Singh was walking home after his brother dropped him off after work around the corner from his house in Richmond Hill. As he walked towards his house on 91st Avenue and 112nd street at around 6.30 pm on Wednesday 7th November, three youths grabbed him from behind, knocked off his turban and threw it to the ground. Two of the attackers repeatedly stamped on his face and body as the other searched Mr Singh’s pockets for his wallet, in vain. Even though the whole ordeal lasted only a minute, Mr Singh suffered various injuries including swelling and cut to the face and tongue and extensive bruising to his hands. The youths then ran off with Mr Singh’s lunch bag and made off in a black car that was waiting for them further along the road.

When Mr Singh finally managed to get to his front door, his family was horrified to see him in his blood drenched clothes and face. They immediately dialed 911 at 7 pm and awaited the arrival of the police, who eventually arrived at 8.30 pm. On their arrival, the police called the ambulance for immediate medical attention. Mr Singh was then rushed to Jamaica Hospital. The family feels that the hospital did not attend to Mr Singh’s injuries urgently and he had to wait three hours before he was given any pain killers and had his injuries attended to.

Mr Gurjit Singh attacked by three youths yards from his home.
Picture taken moments after the attack

Mr. Singh’s family often walk to the Gurdwara, (Sikh place of worship) which is close to their home. However, Mr Singh now fears walking to the Gurdwara and said, “Now I am scared. We usually walk to the Gurdwara, which is only around the corner and we now no longer feel safe.” The family also expressed their concerns about youngsters who ‘hang around street corners’ and pointed out that there was a lack of police patrol around their area in Richmond Hill. Mr Harjot Singh, Mr Gurjit Singh’s son-in-law, said “We need more security in this area.” He is very concerned for the safety of his mother and wife who usually walk to the Gurdwara.

Mr Jodh Verinder Singh, a committee member of the local Gurdwara, told UNITED SIKHS, “This incident has shocked us and we know of other incidents that have occurred in this area. We have seen an increased number of youngsters hanging around the streets and feel that we do need more police presence around this area as many children and elderly members of our community walk to the Gurdwara.” He also added that last month many car tires were slashed outside the Gurdwara, which caused a great inconvenience to the owners.

We appeal to any one with any information to please come forward and assist the police in finding the people who attacked Mr Singh. UNITED SIKHS will work with the police to determine whether there is an increase in crimes in the area.
UNITED SIKHS is doing a survey to determine if there is an increase in street crimes in parts of Richmond Hill. If you know of any street incidents or crimes in the area close to the Sikh Gurdwaras in Richmond Hill, please report them to UNITED SIKHS by calling us on 1-888-243-1690 or emailing us at contact@unitedsikhs.org. You must also immediately report the incidents and crimes to the police, as they can only act if they are made aware of such incidents.
You may read our previous press release related to crimes in the area on http://unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-29-12-2005-01.htm

Issued by:

Amarit Singh
International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy
UNITED SIKHS
646-315-3909


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