QUEENS, N.Y. (Diya TV) – New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar and Sikh community leaders joined forces to denounce hate crimes targeting Sikhs. The gathering took place at the Baba Makhan Shah Lubana Sikh Center in South Richmond Hill, where attendees paid their respects to the late Jasmer Singh and addressed the alarming rise in attacks against the Sikh community.
66-year-old Jasmer Singh lost his life after an alleged road rage incident on October 19. Subeg Singh Multani, the victim’s son, delivered an emotional plea for strong measures to ensure the safety of Sikhs, preventing others from experiencing such violent losses. No hate crime charges have been filed against the alleged attacker, Gilbert Augustin.
Mayor Adams extended his condolences to the grieving family and vowed to take action, educating both the public and himself about Sikhism. He emphasized that the Sikh turban symbolizes protection, faith, and community, not terrorism, and called for a transformation in the narrative surrounding the Sikh community.
The event also highlighted another recent hate crime against the Sikh community when 19-year-old Mani Sandhu was assaulted on an MTA shuttle bus on October 15. Christopher Philippeaux, the attacker, was charged with a hate crime, and the incident served as a grim reminder of the urgent need to combat hate targeting Sikhs.
Rajkumar, the first Indian-American woman elected to New York State Office, spoke passionately about the fight for civil rights and urged an end to the targeting of Sikh Americans. She declared that government levers would be employed to combat hate crimes and to educate the world about the true nature of the Sikh people.
Mayor Adams was presented with a traditional Kirpan, signifying his role as a protector of the Sikh community. Multani, overwhelmed with emotion, shared his father’s American dream and the devastating loss his family had endured.
Multani called upon the Mayor and city officials to take strong measures to safeguard the Sikh community. He emphasized that Sikhs are law-abiding citizens who love the United States and questioned why they were being targeted. Adams recognized the broader issue, noting that Sikhs have been the victims of hate crimes, often stemming from misunderstandings about their faith.
Rajkumar added that documented hate crimes against Sikhs had risen by 140% across the country in 2021, part of a nationwide trend. She urged an end to hate targeting Sikh Americans and urged people to recognize Sikhs as protectors of society.