Queens neighborhood on edge after recent attacks on Sikh community

Naveen Dhaliwal Image
Saturday, May 21, 2022
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Naveen Dhaliwal has the Eyewtness News exclusive.

SOUTH RICHMOND HILL, Queens (WABC) -- It has been over a week since the incident, and Ms. Kaur rarely leaves the house.

She trembled with fear as she told Eyewitness News what happened last Thursday around 12:30 p.m. Ms. Kaur was walking home from the Sikh temple when a black SUV approached her on 114th Street in South Richmond Hill.

A woman in the rear seat of the SUV called out to her saying 'excuse me mom?"

Thinking she knew her, Ms. Kaur approached the SUV, and seconds later she was pulled inside. There were two men in the front, and one pointed a gun at her.

The 51-year-old thought her life was over, but the thieves took her jewelry -- $7,000-worth before letting her go.

"Not only am I seeing the fear in their eyes, but it is unprecedented," said community activist Japneet Singh.

Singh is devastated, as the incident is the fourth one involving a Sikh person in the past six weeks - just blocks apart.

"If these attacks were happening elsewhere in the city as well, then it would be 'ok, it's a city-wide thing,' but concentrated within a one-mile radius - it's very scary," added Singh.

In the previous three attacks, all the victims were Sikh men who wore a turban - a part of the faith.

Now, those who live in the area and raise families and worship at the temple say the incidents are hitting too close to home.

Police say the first three incidents were hate crimes, and the latest incident with Ms. Kaur is being investigated as a robbery.

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