American slapped with 13 year jail term for hitting Sikh man


By NewsGram Staff Writer

New York: An American man has been sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment for hitting an elderly Sikh man outside a Gurdwara in California, a media report said.

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Gilbert Garcia

On May 5, 2013, when 82-year-old Piara Singh was leaving the Nanaksar Gurdwara after saying his daily prayers, Gilbert Garcia beat him up with a steel rod outside Fresno city, The Fresno Bee newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Singh was hospitalised for more than a week with head wounds, broken ribs and lung lacerations.

After the attack on Singh, Garcia also made inflammatory remarks about Muslims, prosecutor Tim Donovan told the newspaper.

Garcia was arrested half-hour after the attack and has been under custody since then.

“Justice has been served. Not only do the victim and his family have closure, but so does the entire Sikh community, because there was an acknowledgment that a hate crime occurred,” said Ike Grewal, a Sikh activist.

“This was a totally senseless crime. We are hard-working people who are part of the American fabric,” Grewal added.

In December 2013, Garcia was sent to the state hospital after doctors in the jail concluded he was unable to assist in his defence.

Garcia returned to the Fresno County Jail in November 2014 after doctors gave him clearance to appear in the court for the trial.

“Garcia agreed to plead no contest to a felony charge of injuring an elderly person and admitted it was a hate crime,” Donovan said.

(With inputs from IANS)