Rep. Chu Reacts to Attack on Elderly Sikh American

Press Release

By:  Judy Chu
Date: May 9, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement following a vicious attack on an elderly Sikh man outside of his temple in Fresno, California:

"My heart broke when I heard about suspected hate crime on Piara Singh, an elderly Sikh man dedicated to his faith and his community. He was doing what he did every day, volunteering at his gurdwara, when a man viciously attacked him. In the wake of Oak Creek and Elk Grove, it is clear that hysteria and stereotyping are still far too common. We must combat the growing wave of violence and intolerance that threatens the safety and civil liberties of all Americans, including the Sikh American community.

"That is why I have pushed the FBI to finally begin tracking hate crimes against the American Sikh community. This will help law enforcement officers in every locality to do all they can to prevent violence against this -- and all -- communities. We cannot wait any longer"

Piara Singh, 82, volunteers at the Nanaksar Sikh Temple every day. As he left Sunday evening, Singh was attacked and beaten with an iron bar. He sustained head wounds, a punctured lung, and broken bones and ribs during the assault.

Singh's is the most recent attack in a string of violence against Sikh Americans that spike following the September 11th terrorist attacks. In the wake of more than a decade of similar attacks -- most notably the shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin that claimed six lives last year -- Congresswoman Chu created the American Sikh Congressional Caucus and serves as Co-Chair. She also serves as Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.