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Shashi Tharoor slams Trump over attack on Hindu priest near a temple in US

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New Delhi, July 22: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday slammed Donald Trump over the United States president's anti-immigrant policies hours after a Hindu priest was attacked near a temple in Floral Park, New York.

The Hindu priest, Swami Harish Chander Puri, was attacked by a 52-year-old man while he was walking down the street in his religious garb. The accused came from behind and started hitting him, repeatedly. The attacker screamed, "this is my neighborhood," during the incident.

File photo of Shashi Tharoor

Referring to the "send her back" chants targeting Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar at a Donald Trump rally, Shashi Tharoor said that real harm is inflicted on innocents when a president "targets immigrants and encourages" such chants.

Donald Trump has reportedly disavowed the "send her back" chorus at his rally, saying he disagreed with the chants.

"When the US President targets immigrants and encourages chants of "send her back" at rallies, real harm is inflicted on innocents. Have received reports of a brutal attack on Swami Harish Chander Puri Ji, priest of the Shiv Shakti Peeth temple in Glen Oaks, Queens, NY," Tharoor tweeted.

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"Swamiji was attacked on Thursday by a man who reportedly screamed, "this is my neighbourhood". Thankfully this advocate of compassion and harmonious coexistence is recovering from his injuries. The danger of bigoted language, increasingly apparent in our India, hurts the US too," Shashi Tharoor said.

The priest was assaulted so badly that he was admitted to a hospital. Swami Harish suffered bruises and abrasions all over his body in the attack. Police have arrested the assaulter and he has been charged with assault, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon.

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