Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today urged union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to take up the issue of repeated hate crimes against Sikhs in the United States with its government, even as he appealed to Sikh institutions in the US to launch a campaign about the Sikh faith and beliefs to counter hate attacks.In a statement here, the SAD president said the murder of Terlok Singh yesterday in New Jersey was the third hate crime against Sikhs in the United States in the last three weeks. “This has set alarm bells ringing amongst Sikhs in the US and urgent steps need to be taken to address their deep sense of anguish. I urge Ms Swaraj to take up this issue at the highest level so that the life and property of Sikhs in the US is safeguarded”, he added.
The SAD president said the murder of Terlok Singh followed the July 31 attack on Surjit Malhi in California and the attack on 71 year old Sahib Singh, also in California on August 6. He said these attacks proved that US society was still not sufficiently aware about the Sikh faith and that steps needed be taken to address this. He said while Ms Swaraj could request Indian Consulates in the US to spread awareness on this front, he said he would also request the SGPC and Sikhs institutions worldwide to launch an appropriate campaign. He said the Sikh community in the US should also be associated with this campaign so that it could address their concerns as well as sensitize the US society about Sikh religion and culture.Badal also expressed his deep condolences with the family of Terlok Singh who was stabbed to death in his store in New Jersey and prayed to the almighty to give them the strength to bear this irreparable loss.