A Tragic History Of Hate Crimes Against Sikhs In The U.S #Racism


 

Although the motives of the shooter in Wisconsin this morning are not yet clear, there is a bloody history of violence towards Sikhs in the United States since 9/11.

 Sikhism is a peaceful religion and its primary principles include equality and justice for all

.Summer Anne BurtonBuzzFeed Staff

 

September 15, 2001 – Mesa, Arizona

49-year-old gas station owner Balbir Singh Sodhi was fatally shot. Frank Silva Roque, the shooter, mistakenly believed Sodhi was Muslim because of the clothes he wore, his turban, and his beard. Within 25 minutes of his death, the Phoenix police reported four further attacks on people who either were Middle Easterners or who dressed with clothes thought to be worn by Middle Easterners. Frank Silva Roque was convicted and sentenced to the death penalty, but the Arizona Supreme Court overturned the sentence for life in prison, citing an extremely low IQ and mental illness. On August 4, 2002, Balbir’s brother Sukhpal was shot to death while driving a cab in San Francisco. It did appear that his shooting was an accident — a stray bullet from a nearby gang fight. Balbir’s son, Sukhwinder, was asked about the second tragedy and said “What are you going to do with anger? We like peace and we are a peaceful people.”

Dec 12, 2001 – Los Angeles, California

47-year-old Surinder Singh Sidhi was beaten by two men who entered his store, accused him of being Osama bin Laden, and beat him with metal poles. They said, “We’ll kill bin Laden today,” then hit him over twenty times with the poles. “The crime was regrettable but not surprising,” Kirtan-Singh Khalsa, spokesman for the Khalsa Council, an international council for Sikh affairs, said.“We’re deeply concerned by this event. But we are not shocked. Sikhs are accustomed to ridicule because of wearing turbans.”

February 19, 2002 – Palermo, New York

Three 18-year-old boys and one 19-year-old girl burned down the Sikh temple Gobinde Sadan.The teens told authorities that they believed the temple was named “Go Bin Laden.”

May 20, 2003 – Phoenix, Arizona

Avtar Singh, 52, a Sikh immigrant, was shot and wounded. Sigh parked his 18-wheeler in Phoenix and called his son to pick him up. While he was waiting, at least two young white men pulled up and started yelling. Singh said “I hear that voice: ‘Go back to where you belong to.’ And at the same time I heard the shot.”

Mar 14, 2004 – Fresno, California

Vandals spray-painted graffiti saying “Rags Go Home” and “It’s Not Your Country” on the Gurdwara Sahib temple in Fresno. It was not the first time the temple had been defaced — in 2003, vandals struck five nights in a row, spraying paint and hurling firecrackers at the temple.

July 12, 2004 – New York

Sikhs Rajinder Singh Khalsa (above, after the attack) and Gurcharan Singh were viciously beaten by an intoxicated group of Caucasian males in their 20s. 54-year-old Rajinder Singh Khalsa was walking to the Tandoori Express Restaurant with his cousin Gurcharan Singh when the group of Caucasian males in their 20s began to taunt them, referencing September 11th and making fun of their turbans. Rajinder Singh Khalsa attempted to explain the significance to the attackers, who responded by assaulting him. He was beaten unconscious and was found to have multiple broken bones.

May 24, 2007 – Queens, New York

A 15-year-old Sikh student had his hair forcibly cut by a fellow student at Newtown High School in Queens. Unshorn hair is a religious imperative for a Sikh, and the student tried to explain that to his assailant, who threatened him with scissors.

January 14, 2008 – New Hyde Park, New York

Baljeet Singh, a 63-year-old Sikh, was attacked outside his temple by a man who screamed “Arab, go back to your country.” Wood then allegedly told Chadha “you don’t listen” and punched him in the face. Singh suffered a broken nose and a fractured jaw.

June 5, 2008 – Queens, New York

A 9th grade Sikh student at Richmond Hill High School was attacked by a fellow student. The bully sought to remove his Sikh classmate’s patka from behind, and hit him in the face with keys. The victim ended up in the hospital with severe bruising and swelling. The victim had been reporting the bully for months, after the bully allegedly teased the child often, tugging on the victim’s beard and asking why he didn’t shave.

January 30, 2009 – New York

Jasmir Singh was attacked by three men around 4 AM outside a grocery store in Queens with a glass bottle. Jasmir’s friend who was with him the morning of the attack, told the police that while Jasmir was being attacked, racist slurs were used as the criminals aimed at Jasmir’s beard and turban. His father was attacked on the Subway two years later.

May 30, 2011 – New York Subway

Jasmir Singh’s father, MTA worker Jiwan Singh, a U.S. resident for thirty years, was accosted on the A train and accused of being related to Osama Bin Laden. The attacker then repeatedly punched Singh in the face. The victim lost three teeth. His daughter, Piarry, 18, said “I just wish people were not cruel.”

Sadly, these incidents only represent a fraction of the crimes — many of which certainly go unreported — that are perpetrated against Sikhs in the United States. A 2007 survey of Sikh students by the Sikh Coalition found that three out of four male students interviewed “had been teased or harassed on account of their religious identity.”

That discrimination has worsened significantly since 9/11. Sikhs have struggled with trying to prove to the hateful that they are not Muslims or Arabs, while still believing in equality and fair treatment for those groups as well. Today’s incident may or may not end up being classified as a hate crime, but regardless: the Sikh people certainly deserve the respect and acceptance of their fellow Americans rather than the scorn, ridicule, and violence they are too often subjected to.

Source: Real Sikhism

realsikhism.com

Team Anna disbanded, blogs Anna Hazare, creating surprise and regret #Janlokpal


 

Edited by Abhinav Bhatt | Updated: August 06, 2012 18:11 IST

Team Anna disbanded, blogs Anna Hazare, creating surprise and regret

New DelhiIn a blog that appears to have bewildered his closest aides, activist Anna Hazare has said that Team Anna stands dissolved. Three days after aides like Arvind Kejriwaland Anna ended their latest hunger strike, 75-year-old Anna writes that “The time for fasts has ended. It is time to give people a political alternative.” Sources say the announcement indicates that Anna will play a limited role in the political party to be launched by his associates.Plans for that party were in fact made public by Mr Kejriwal and Anna on Friday, before they ended their latest fast against corruption. Anna said his aides would enter politics; he stressed he would not contest elections or be a member of the party, but would support it. Mr Kejriwal asked the public to help pick the party’s name and manifesto in preparation for the next general elections in 2014. Both voiced concerns about how to pick upright candidates, keep power from corrupting them if they were elected, and raising the substantial funds that campaigns are known to quickly devour.

So while Anna’s blog may be, to some, an elaboration of his comments on Friday, to many others, it signals that between the lines of his blogs is a discontent with his aides’ political interests. Looking distinctly unhappy, he told NDTV before heading to Pune this afternoon, “Team Anna’s job is over. We are separate now. They will form a party. I have nothing to do with it.”

All members were kept in the loop on the decision to disband Team Anna,” claimed Aswathi Muralidharan, the media coordinator for India Against Corruption (IAC), the movement that was led by Anna for the last 18 months. But Team Anna member Kiran Bedi confirmed there appears to be a disconnect. “Read Anna’s blog. Do not know what all it means? For we all had very useful preparatory meeting with Annaji wherein he gave useful guidance!” she tweeted early this evening.

Justice Santosh Hegde worked closely with Anna in championing and developing civil society’s version of the anti-graft legislation, the Lokpal Bill. The national ombudsman agency that the Bill births is what Anna has been fighting for over 18 months and several hunger fasts. “Somewhere we went wrong,” said Mr Hegde, adding, “I feel sorry (about the decision to disband the team) for the reason that the movement started by Anna for a strong Lokpal was need of the hour…It (the movement spearheaded by Team Anna) had progressed sufficiently and controversy or difference of opinion in regard to whether Team Anna should contest elections or not is unfortunate and which must have led to Anna disbanding the team.” Mr Hegde has also said that Team Anna should have steered clear of politics. (Watch)

From outside the team has come the criticism that those who have worked closest with Anna have always been hungry for power. There are also those that add that since August last year, when Anna drew epic crowds for a 16-day hunger strike in Delhi, calls to action since then have not stirred India. They certainly didn’t impact the government – for the last hunger strike, which lasted ten days in Delhi and ended on Friday, the government made no attempt to persuade Team Anna to end its fast.

Devendra Sharma , a part of team Anna not kept in loop check headlines today video HEADLINES TODAY VIDEO

 

Decomposed body of Anuradha Bali ‘Fiza’ found in Mohali


 

Reported by Ketki Angre, Edited by Prasad Sanyal | Updated: August 06, 2012

Anuradha Bali alias Fiza, wife of former Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Chander Mohan, found dead

ChandigarhAnuradha Bali, the estranged wife of Haryana politician Chander Mohan, has been found dead  in her bed at her home in Mohali near Chandigarh. The police believes she died four days ago. An uncle spoke to her  on July 1; neighbours say they last saw her on July 2.Ms Bali’s body was so badly decomposed that even forensic experts could not bear the stench in the house; they stepped outside to dust  a glass for fingerprints.

A post-mortem tomorrow is expected to confirm if Ms Bali committed suicide.

Ms Bali was the Assistant Advocate General of Haryana when she quit her job and converted to Islam along with Mr Mohan in 2008 so that they could marry legally – he was already married. Ms Bali took the name Fiza and Mr Mohan became Chand Mohammad. The politician had to quit as Deputy Chief Minister and he was also disowned by his father, Bhajan Lal, who has served two terms as chief minister of Haryana.

In January 2009, Mr Mohan left Ms Bali, to reunite with his first wife and their children. He then converted back to Hinduism in a ceremony at a temple. Ms Bali had reportedly spent the last few months in deep depression and had repeated fights with her neighbours; the police were called few times to intervene.

Yesterday, another Haryana politician, Gopal Goyal Kanda, had to resign after he was named in a suicide note left behind by a young woman named Geetika Sharma who killed herself in Delhi. In her note, she blamed the politician, who was Minister of State for Home in the Congress government, for harassment and cheating. Ms Sharma had worked for MDLR, an airline owned by Mr Kanda.

 

The Congress has asked chief minister Bhupinder Hooda to conduct an inquiry and submit a report on the case to its central leadership.

 

 

Rs 20,000 crore swindled in Maharashtra irrigation scam #Indiashining


, TNN | Aug 6, 2012, 04.52AM IST

Rs 20,000 crore swindled in Maharashtra irrigation scam
In another explosive revelation, TOI has learned that costs of 38 irrigation projects in Vidarbha were increased from Rs 6,672 crore to Rs 26,722 crore by the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC).
MUMBAI: Maharashtra‘s mega irrigation scam, which strained relations between Congress and its alliance partner, Nationalist Congress Party ( NCP), is getting murkier.In another explosive revelation, TOI has learned that costs of 38 irrigation projects in Vidarbha were increased from Rs 6,672 crore to Rs 26,722 crore by the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC). More shockingly, this mind-numbing 300% cost escalation of over Rs 20,000 crore was approved in a short span of three months between June and August 2009. (TOI, in recent months, has carried a series of reports exposing the contractor-minister-bureaucrat nexus that has led to criminal cost escalations in minor and big irrigation projects in the state.)The VIDC reasoned that the costs were revised because of the change in price levels, higher quotes by contractors, increase in the cost of land acquisition, engineering changes and other reasons. But the rush to revise costs and give bulk approvals to 38 projects in just three months has raised eyebrows in government circles.

In one unusual case, revised administrative approval for the Lower Wardha project was granted on Independence Day (August 15), a national holiday. The project cost was revised by VIDC’s then executive director from Rs 950 crore to Rs 2,356 crore on that day. Sources point out another case of the Upper Wardha project in Amravati, where the cost was revised from Rs 661 crore to Rs 1,376 crore in July.

Another case is that of the Bembala river project in Yavatmals district of Vidarbha. Official documents show that its cost was revised from Rs 1,278 crore to Rs 2,176 crore on August 14, 2009. Bembala was one of the 10 projects given revised administrative approvals hurriedly on that day.

On another day (June 24, 2009), VIDC issued 10 revised administrative approvals for Vaisawali, Lonwadi, Dagadparwa and Dava minor irrigation schemes, and larger projects such as Human Nadi, Kharbadi K T Weir, Jigaon, Khadak Purna, Pentakali and Chandrabhaga. Once these revised administrative approvals were granted, the VIDC hurriedly invited tenders for all the 38 projects.

These approvals were given by then executive director Devendra Shirke.

Allahabad HC grants bail to Seema Azad, Vishvijay convicted for #sedition #goodnews


, TNN | Aug 6, 2012, 01.45PM IST

LUCKNOW: The Allahabad High Court has granted bail to journalist and civil right activistSeema Azad and her husband Vishvijay. The couple were convicted by a lower court on June 8, 2012, on charges of sedition. They were accused of having links with banned Maoist outfit and were held guilty for ‘waging war against the nation’.

The bail was granted by a division bench comprising Justice Dharnidhar Jha and Justice Akhok Pal Singh. Counsel for the couple Ravi Kiran Jain argued before the court that there was no concrete evidence with the police which can prove that the couple were engaged in naxal activity. He also said that having Naxal literature to study for the purpose of journalist does not amount to any connection with Naxals. Jain also said that Azad and her husband had exposed illegal mining being carried out in Allahabad and adjoining areas by the mafia in connivance with the government officers and police. The couple was implicated in a false case for writing about illegal mining.

Seema Azad’s case is similar to that of Dr Vinayak Sen, who was also implicated by the Chhatisgarh police, for alleged naxal connections. The Uttar Pradesh (UP) chapters of the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) and the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) have welcomed the court’s decision.

“We had full confidence in the judician system,” said Vandana Mishra, secretary PUCL, UP. At the time of arrest Seema was also state secretary of the PUCL and publishing a magazine ‘Dastak’ in which she had written several articles on illegal mining. The couple were also involved in sensitising people on violation of their rights and raised human rights issues.

The Special Task Force (STF) of UP had arrested the couple in February 2010 and had claimed to have recover Maoist literature and large amount of cash from their possession. They were charged with having association with a banned organization, the Communist Party of India(Maoist). After arrest, the STF handed over to the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of UP making it a case involving ‘terrorist activity’. In its charge sheet submitted in the court, the ATS claimed that the couple were involved in inciting people through CD, laptops and books. The court held the couple guilty and awarded them life term.

After detaining the couple, the police had then said that two activists were arrested at the Allahabad railway station. However, in the FIR lodged later at the Khuldabad police station, police showed that the couple were arrested by the STF from Khuldabad in Allahabad.

The police had then also claimed that it found incriminating material which included a detailed programme of Krantikari Jan Committee, pamphlets carrying message of CPI (Maoist), a pamphlet related to the arrest of Kobad Gandhi, a pamphlet on arrest of Naxal and Maoist functionaries and members in BiharJharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

Gurudwara shooting suspect identified as #WadeMichaelPage; Motivation unclear #Wisconsin


Residents near a home being searched by FBI agents following shootings at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., set down lawn chairs as night falls, Aug. 5, 2012, in Cudahy, Wis. (AP)
Updated at 8:00 a.m. Eastern, CBS news(CBS/AP) OAK CREEK, Wis. – The suspect in a shooting that left six people dead at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee on Sunday has been identified as Wade Michael Page, who served in the U.S. Army for about six years.

According to sources in the U.S. Army, Page enlisted in April 1992 and given a less-than-honorable discharge in October 1998. He served at Fort Bliss, Texas, in the psychological operations unit in 1994, and was last stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, attached to the psychological operations unit. The details of his discharge were not immediately clear.

Wade was killed outside the temple in a shootout with police officers after the rampage that left terrified congregants hiding in closets and others texting friends outside for help.

Officials had previously described the suspect as a heavy-set, 40-year-old Caucasian with numerous tattoos.

Sources tell CBS News some unspecified evidence suggests race or ethnicity may have played a role in the violence, but no links to extremist groups have been confirmed.

Local police called the attack an act of domestic terrorism, but other sources tell CBS News correspondent Bon Orr it may be more accurate to refer to “an investigation into a possible hate crime.”

Neither the local nor the federal sources provided further details or suggested a possible motive, including whether the suspect specifically targeted the Sikh temple.

Late Sunday, the investigation appeared to move beyond the temple as police, federal agents and the county sheriff’s bomb squad swarmed a neighborhood in nearby Cudahy, evacuated several homes and searched a duplex. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent Tom Ahern said warrants were being served at the home of the gunman.

CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reports Page is only believed to have lived at the residence for two weeks, according to neighbors.

“Nobody has really seen him,” neighbor Alma Rayes tells CBS News. “We heard here and there that they’ve been doing a lot of arguing, between him and another female, but I haven’t seen him

Probe into custodial death of Bihari youth who attacked Amritandamayi Devi


By Ashraf Padanna/Thiruvananthapuram

 

Satnam Singh
The Kerala police have begun a probe into the ‘unnatural death’ of a Bihari youth charged with attempt to murder Mata Amritandamayi Devi, the hugging saint who has millions of devotees across the world.

 

Mystery over the death of 23-year old Satnam Singh Mann from Gaya in Bihar lodged at the Peroorkada mental health centre here continues.

Relatives of Satnam, who was arrested by the police four days ago after he advanced menacingly towards Matha Amrithananda Mayi in Vallikavu, allege he was beaten up while in custody. Police denied the allegation.

The postmortem of the body would be conducted at the medical college hospital here on Monday. During the inquest, several bruises were found on the body, said Satnam’s cousin Vimal Kishore. It is known, however, that a scuffle, or more, had taken place between Satnam and another patient(s) at the mental health centre on Saturday.

In Vallikavu, the Matha Amrithanandamayi Mutt organised a special prayer session condoling the death of Satnam. Mutt vice-chairman Amritha Swaroopanananda said that the Mutt was shocked at the incidents. “The mutt joins the family in their grief,” he said.

District collector in-charge P.K. Girija started a preliminary inquiry, while the Peroorkada police registered a case of unnatural death.Satnam’s father, Harendra Kumar Singh, is expected here by Monday.

Satnam’s other relatives who have reached here confirmed to the police that he was earlier under treatment for depression and was missing from his home since May.

Satnam was arrested on August 1 when he angrily pushed his way in the direction of Mata Amritanandamayi during her darshan programme. He was remanded to judicial custody on August 2 and sent to the Kollam district jail.

Prison superintendent Vinod Kumar said that during the late hour of August 2, Satnam took cleaning lotion kept at the toilet in the prison and poured it on eight other prisoners in his cell. As he behaved strangely, he was taken to the Kollam district hospital. As advised by doctors, he was shifted to the mental health centre here.
He was given sedation as he behaved violently.

Hospital sources said Satnam was admitted to the hospital by around 3am on August 3. After he was found to be stable, he was kept in a cell with another patient. However, following a scuffle between the two, they were kept in separate cells. By around 6.30pm on August 4, he was found in a collapsed state in the toilet area of the cell.

Subsequently, he was rushed to the medical college hospital where he died by around 8.15pm.
Satnam, reportedly doing his LLB course at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University in Lucknow, was reported missing for sometime.

Marks on Satnam’s body shock cousin

The death of Satnam Singh Mann has come as a rude shock to his cousin Vimal Kishore. “I had met him while in police custody the other day. He did not have any physical problem. However, now there are several marks on his body,” said Vimal.

Vimal, who sought a detailed probe into the incident, also said that though he had handed over a pair of clothes to Satnam before being remanded, he was found to be wearing a different dress when he died. “While in the police custody, he was allowed to wear only under garments,” said Vimal who came down to the state after being informed of Satnam’s arrest.

Satnam, son of businessman Harendra Kumar Singh, went missing from Bihar in May. “He was too much into spirituality and was highly informed. Finally he suffered some sort of depression,” recalls Vimal, who works with a national media in New Delhi.

Satnam’s family had even given ‘man missing’ advertisements in the local media in Bihar. Vimal, who was close to Satnam since his childhood, said Satnam was repeatedly telling a couple of words including ‘magnetic field,’ while he met him in police custody.

Satnam has three brothers, two of them studying for engineering and the other doing his CA in Delhi. His sister is in the US.

 

#Wisconsin Gurudwara shooting probed as ‘domestic terrorism’


 

 

A man sits on a rock as police investigate the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, Wis., after a shooting Sunday, Aug 5, 2012. A gunman killed six people at the suburban Milwaukee temple in a rampage that left terrified congregants hiding in closets and others texting friends outside for help. The suspect was killed outside the temple in a shootout with police officers.

The Associated Press

Published Sunday, Aug. 05 2012, 1:07 PM EDT

Police in Wisconsin say seven people are dead at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, including the suspected gunman.

The FBI says it is investigating whether the shootings were an act of domestic terrorism. FBI Special Agent in Charge Teresa Carlson says in a Sunday night statement that no motive has been determined for the attack at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. She says the investigation is in its early stages.

He says one of those killed outside is the suspect. Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards says the suspect “ambushed” one of the first officers to arrive at the scene as the officer tended to a shooting victim.

Mr. Edwards says the suspect shot the officer multiple times outside the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on Sunday morning. A second officer then exchanged gunfire with the suspect and fatally shot him. Mr. Edwards says the officer who was ambushed is undergoing surgery at a nearby hospital and is expected to survive.

Police do not believe a second shooter was involved, contradicting earlier reports of multiple shooters.

At least three men have been admitted to a Milwaukee-area hospital, including one police officer. A Froederdt Hospital spokeswoman says one of the men is in the operating room, another is in a surgical intensive care unit and the third is being evaluated in the emergency room. All three are considered to be in critical condition.

The first official word from police was that they didn’t know how many victims or suspects were involved. But a short time later, after an extensive search of the temple, authorities said they did not believe there was more than one shooter.

“It was a very coordinated thing. It wasn’t haphazard,” temple member Amardeep Kaleka told CNN. He said his father was wounded in the attack.

“This is nerve-racking. No one really knows what’s going on. Nothing like this has ever happened before,” Mangat said. Later, when he learned of the deaths, he said, “It was like the heart just sat down. This shouldn’t happen anywhere.”

It is still unknown how many were wounded in the shooting. At least three priests may be among those shot, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

According to the Journal Sentinel, one of the temple’s committee members said the motive for the shooting is unknown, but identified one shooter as a white male who is not a member of the temple, and suggested it may have been “a hate crime.”

U.S. President Barack Obama said Sunday that he and First Lady Michelle Obama had been “deeply saddened” to learn of a shooting that left at least seven people dead at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

“As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family,” he said, in a White House statement.

Police and ambulances have cordoned off the area, and tactical units are on scene, while officers were dispatched to another nearby temple as a precaution.

With reports from James Bradshaw and Reuters