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Washington: Police in California and Indian-American groups have offered a reward in the case of an attack on two elderly Sikh men, as the second victim of the possible hate crime also died of injuries.
Gurmej Atwal, 78, and Surinder Singh, 65, were on their afternoon walk in the Sacramento suburb of Elk Grove last month when they were shot and injured near a bus shelter. Singh died at the scene and Atwal later on Friday afternoon, his son Kamaljit Singh said.
Born and raised in Punjab, Atwal moved to the U.S. after retirement. “He was shot in the upper right chest. One bullet went straight to his lungs and the other to his pancreas, liver and intestines,” Mr. Kamaljit Singh was quoted as saying by a local newspaper. “My dad was going to be a key witness… [but] from day one, he could not speak a word.”
The Sikh community and many community organisations have come together to offer a reward of over $42,000 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the shooting. Crime Alert Sacramento is offering an additional $10,000 reward if it is determined to be a hate crime.
Police say they are treating it as a possible hate crime, citing similar instances that have occurred since the September 11, 2001, terror attack in which Sikhs were mistaken for Muslims and randomly attacked. The FBI is assisting in the investigation. — IANS
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