US hate crime: Two sentenced to three years in jail for assaulting Sikh-American

Maan Singh Khalsa was brutally assaulted in California in September last year.

By: PTI | New York | Updated: May 19, 2017 7:23 am
Maan Singh Khalsa was brutally assaulted on his way home. Photo posted by Sikh Coalition on Twitter

A US court has sentenced two persons to three years in prison after charging them with hate crime for brutally assaulting a Sikh-American man last year in California. Chase Little and Colton Leblanc were found guilty of felony assault and hate crime charges. They were sentenced to a three-year term in the California state prison for attacking Maan Singh Khalsa. Khalsa, a Sikh American father and IT specialist, was brutally assaulted in Richmond Bay area, California in September last year.

The Sikh-American was stopped at an intersection and the attackers got out of their truck and assaulted by hitting his face repeatedly, knocking off his turban and cutting his religiously-mandated unshorn hair with a knife. “The recognition of the attack as a hate crime – as harm to my dignity and my entire community – is the first step in the process,” said Khalsa, who had recognised his attackers during his statement in court yesterday.

“I still consider you my brothers, and I hope that you will learn about me and my community, and one day consider me your brother, too,” he said according to a statement issued yesterday by the rights group named The Sikh Coalition. Prior to the charges, the coalition, community leaders, and a group of civil rights organisations advocated vigorously on behalf of Khalsa, urging for a hate crime investigation and prosecution.

“The attack upon Khalsa based upon his perceived religion and identity is an attack upon us all,” Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Simon O’Connellsaid. “As a community we must do better and it is my hope that today’s sentence moves us further in that direction,” he said. The Sikh Coalition said in the last 15 years after the 9/11 attack, Sikhs remain hundreds of times more likely to be targeted in cases of profiling, bigotry and backlash than the average American.

In March this year, a Sikh man was shot in Kent city of Washington state after the attacker told him to “go back to your own country”, it said. In May, Sikh-American Prabhjot Singh who has experienced hate violence firsthand testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the urgent need to address hate crimes in the United States.

“Acknowledging that this bias-based attack is a hate crime under state law both recognises the deep dignitary harm to Khalsa, and ensures that we, as a society, confront the problems of Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia that make the Sikh community a target for violence,” the coalition’s staff attorney Pawanpreet Kaur said.

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  1. s
    May 19, 2017 at 4:14 pm
    At Least in USA a criminal gets punished no matter whether he is White but in India Powerful Person is rarely even booked leave alonne convicted
    1. S
      May 19, 2017 at 3:57 pm
      In this country India we have the ru party and its ideological parent actively promoting hatred towards and hate crimes against minority groups. They think it is demonstration of their virility. Bull!
      1. G
        Gurdeep Jolly
        May 19, 2017 at 11:29 am
        Mostly the white americans who shifted from europe you can find fascist gins as the three generations lived under this theory that europeans are aryan. they even do not know the meaning who were called the aryan. even you see the behavior of these in india towards indian.
        1. s
          May 19, 2017 at 4:15 pm
          Only germans think themselves as ARyans not other Europeans
        2. N
          May 19, 2017 at 8:11 am
          america despite donald trump is a law abiding society , for an incident like this in india the victim would have been blamed
          1. R
            May 19, 2017 at 8:09 am
            America is not only the oldest but also the most effective democratic society in the world. Not for nothing, people aspire to be in America or Canada. Despite the most powerful nation in the world & POTUS, the most powerful head, American society raises it's voice against injustice to human beings. Even the President is not spared for any uncalled for comments. In contrast, India is still a namesake democracy where the elected behave like kings. They consider it to be their birthright to abuse their powers to serve vested interests. Time and again, Indian politicians try to browbeat judiciary & press into submission. Violating the laws is their privilege & inciting hatred towards dalits or minorities is becoming a norm.
            1. s
              May 19, 2017 at 4:16 pm
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