A Sikh man in his 70s, Nirmal Singh, was attacked early Sunday morning in South Richmond Hill, Queens. Singh was en route to the gurdwara, a Sikh temple, when a man approached him and punched him in the nose. The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the attack, which has garnered national attention.
Singh arrived in New York two weeks prior from Punjab, India, and was living at the Sikh Cultural Society near the site of the attack. He was fulfilling a lifelong dream of visiting New York City and came, in part, to attend the 2022 Sikh Day Parade on April 23. Singh no longer plans on staying for the parade.
“In his experience, he’s faced racism and discrimination, and he thinks they saw his turban and targeted him,” said Japneet Singh, a candidate for the New York Senate, translating for Nirmal Singh in an interview. Nirmal Singh, who sustained a black eye and broken nose, said the attack was unprovoked, and it is unclear to him if the assailant had a weapon in his hand, given the extent of his injuries. He blacked out shortly after the attack.