Deep Rai, a 39-year-old Sikh man, has been shot and wounded outside his home in Washington’s Kent city by a masked stranger on Friday when he was working on his car.
The man alleged that the attacker told him to ‘go back to his country’ before shooting him in the arm. The attacker was six-foot tall and covered the lower half of his face with a mask.
The injuries were reportedly “non-life threatening”. The city police asserted that they are “treating this as a very serious incident”.
Meanwhile, Sikh community alleged that Rai was victim of a hate crime. “It looks like a hate crime, we are talking to authorities,the community is very concerned,” a San Francisco resident was quoted by ANI as saying.
“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,” Kent Police Commander Jarod Kasner told media.
The hate crime against Indian citizens in US are reportedly increasing in recent days. Earlier this week, a 43-year-old Indian-origin businessman Harnish Patel was found dead in his yard with bullet wounds in South Carolina.
Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj took to Twitter to express her concern on the increased number of hate crimes in US.
“I am pained to hear about the killing of Harnish Patel a US national of Indian origin in Lancaster, South Carolina. Our Consul has reached Lancaster and met the family of Harnish Patel. The investigation of the case is in progress. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family,” she said.
She also said: “I am sorry to know about the attack on Deep Rai a US national of Indian origin. I have spoken to Sardar Harpal Singh father of the victim. He told me that his son had a bullet injury on his arm. He is out of danger and is recovering in a private hospital.”
In another incident, an Indian-origin woman was subjected to racial slurs in the subway by an African-American man.