BY LUIS GRONDA
Sikh officials gathered in Richmond Hill earlier this week to call for justice for Sandeep Singh.
Tuesday morning’s rally was in response to an incident that occurred at 99th Street and 101st Avenue in Ozone Park involving Singh, who was run over by a truck and dragged 30 feet. The driver sped off and the person responsible for the incident has yet to be found. Sandeep has remained hospitalized as a result of the altercation.
The Sikh Coalition, the group that organized the rally, is calling on the NYPD and federal agencies to investigate the incident as a hate crime. The group alleges that moments before the driver ran over Singh, the person yelled racial and religious slurs at him, calling him a “terrorist” and telling him to “go back to your country.”
Amardeep Singh, the program director of the Sikh Coalition, said Sandeep told him the driver said those slurs before hitting him with a pickup truck.
Amardeep said he visited Sandeep in the hospital and that he is still in a lot of pain and was only able to speak after taking painkillers.
“At one point, he said, ‘you don’t do this to people,’” Amardeep said.
Amardeep said that Sandeep will be “incapacitated for a while” but will survive the incident.
The Sikh Coalition released a statement from Sandeep himself, expressing his desire for an arrest to be made for the incident.
“I am in a great deal of pain, but I will survive,” Sandeep said. “I was attacked because I am a Sikh and because I look like a Sikh. Justice should be served so that no one else goes through what I have been through. We need to create a world without hate.”
According to the NYPD, the type of car the driver was using was a light colored 2007-2009 GMC 1500 Series Sierra pick-up truck. They said the two involved in the incident argued until the driver accelerated, hitting Sandeep and dragging him until fleeing the scene. Law enforcement said he was treated at Jamaica Hospital for abdominal and back injuries as well as multiple abrasions.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @luisgronda.