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39-year-old Sikh Man shot in 3rd Attack on Indians in US in 10 days: “Go back to your own country,” says Gunman

Gun (representational image), Wikimedia

Washington, March 5, 2017: A Sikh man was injured when a masked gunman opened fire at him in front of his house in Washington after telling him “Go back to your own country.”

The victim, who was hit in the arm, survived the Friday night attack, the third shooting of an Indian national in the last 10 days in the US.

The attacks have claimed two lives and shocked the nation.

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The 39-year-old Sikh, who has not been identified by name, was working on his car in front of his house in Kent city of Washington state when the gunman described as white, who had his face partially covered, opened fire at him, police said.

“We’re early on in our investigation,” the Seattle Times quoted Kent Police chief Ken Thomas as saying on Saturday morning. “We are treating this as a very serious incident.”

According to KING5 TV, the incident was being investigated as a possible hate crime and police had reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for help.

In the recent spate of attacks, Harnish Patel of Lancaster in South Carolina, was killed on Thursday, and Srinivas Kuchibhotla was murdered on February 22 in Olathe, Kansas.

Another Indian, Alok Madasani, who was injured in the Olathe attack, survived.

Satwinder Kaur, a candidate for Kent City Council, said on Facebook that the latest victim “wishes to remain anonymous at this time. So as a community we should respect that”. She said Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke has reached out to him.

“This incident is such a big deal because hate crimes to this extent do not happen in our community,” Kaur said.

Sikh community leader Jasmit Singh told the Times that the 39-year-old was released from the hospital.

“He is just very shaken up, both him and his family,” Singh said. “We’re all kind of at a loss in terms of what’s going on right now. This is just bringing it home. The climate of hate that has been created doesn’t distinguish between anyone.”

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According to Singh, Sikh men in area around Seattle have experienced “a kind of prejudice, a kind of xenophobia that is nothing that we’ve seen in the recent past”.

Before the Kent attack, the Sikh Coalition had released an advisory asking the community members to report instances of people “saying hateful things about your Sikh identity”.

In the aftermath of the Kansas attack, the coalition said: “We should not wait until someone gets hurt or killed to report hate incidents.”

Kent is about 30 kms from Seattle and is near the Congressional constituency of Pramila Jayapal, the Indian-origin member of the House of Representatives.

Jayapal tweeted: “Thoughts and prayers to family and entire Sikh community in the wake of horrific shooting. This must be investigated as #HateCrime.”

On Thursday night, Patel was shot outside his house in Lancaster.

Officials do not believe it was a hate crime. “I don’t have any reason to believe that this was racially motivated,” county Sheriff Barry Faile said on Friday.

In the February 22 Kansas incident, an American, Ian Grillot, who tried to stop the shooting, was also shot and injured.

A white Navy veteran Adam Purinton, 51, was arrested and charged with murder in the killing of Kuchibhotla. Purinton reportedly said that he had shot two Iranians.

The hate crime has been condemned by leaders in both the US and India.

In his address to the joint session of the Congress, Trump last Tuesday said: “Last week’s shooting in Kansas city reminds us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”

At a news conference in Washington on Friday, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said he had discussed the Kent incident with administration and Congressional leaders during his visit.

Jaishankar earlier met Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

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“What we heard from very high-level, cabinet level that we should regard this as an act of an individual,” he said.

“The American justice system was at work, it could bring the perpetrators of this act to justice. It is being prosecuted as a hate crime.”

Hate crimes have been a part of the American fabric, including in the liberal state of Washington.

In Auburn in 2012, a Sikh taxi driver was attacked by a man who thought he was Muslim. The attacker was sentenced to three years in prison for the crime.

In 2015, Hindu place of worship in Kent, the Sanatan Dharma Temple, was attacked and had its windows smashed and the word “Fear,” painted on it.

Another Hindu temple in nearby Bothell was also attacked.

Neither of these hate crimes were condemned by former President Barack Obama or the media. (IANS)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)