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Sikh shot in US by man yelling ‘go back to your own country’

Sunday, Mar 5, 2017,13:02 IST By anju A A A

New York | A 39-year-old Sikh man in the US has been shot and wounded outside his home by an unidentified person who shouted “go back to your own country”, just days after an Indian engineer was killed in a hate crime shooting.

The Sikh man was working on his vehicle outside his home in Kent, Washington, on Friday when he was approached by a stranger, who walked up to the driveway, the Seattle Times reported.

Kent police said an argument broke out between the two men, with the victim saying the suspect made statements to the effect of “go back to your own country”. The unidentified man then shot him in the arm.

The Sikh man, who has not been named, described the shooter as a six-foot-tall white man, wearing a mask covering the lower half of his face. Kent police are looking for the gunman.

Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas said while the Sikh man sustained “non life-threatening injuries”, they are “treating this as a very serious incident”.

Kent police have launched an investigation into the case and reached out to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, the report said.

“We’re early on in our investigation,” Thomas said.

Kent Police Commander Jarod Kasner said the incident is getting attention from the Sikh community and others.

“With recent unrest and concern throughout the nation this can get people emotionally involved, especially when (the crime) is directed at a person for how they live, how they look,” Kasner said.

The incident is the latest in a series of troubling cases where members of the Indian community have been targeted in apparent hate crimes.

It comes close on the heels of the tragic shooting in Kansas last month in which 32-year-old Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed when 51-year old US Navy veteran Adam Purinton opened fire at him and his friend Alok Madasani, yelling “get out of my country”.

Earlier this week, Indian-origin convenience store owner Harnish Patel, 43, of Lancaster in South Carolina was found dead of gun shot wounds in his yard. However, police said in Patel’s killing his Indian ethnicity does not appear to be a factor.

Jasmit Singh, a leader of the Sikh community in Renton, said he had been told that the Sikh man injured in Friday’s incident has been released from hospital.

He said the victim and his family are “very shaken up”.

“We’re all kind of at a loss in terms of what’s going on right now, this is just bringing it home. The climate of hate that has been created doesn’t distinguish between anyone,” he said.

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