US: Sikh doctor gets death threats
Washington, Mar 31: A Sikh doctor in the US has received death threats from an anonymous caller in Indiana, amid a series of hate crime incidents in which Indian- Americans have been targeted.
Amandeep Singh, a general internist at Monroe Hospital in Indiana, recently received the death threat through a text message on his mobile by the unknown individual who claimed to have murdered the number's previous owner, community leaders said.
"I believe I've been living in the US for 14 years and never experienced anything like that specifically," Singh said.
"My job is serving the people you know, everyday I'm there for the people and taking a stand with them and serving the community. It was hard for me to comprehend even something like that coming to somebody's mind," he added.
"The subject then indicated that Singh was next," Indianapolis-based Sikhs Political Action Committee said in a statement.
Bloomington Police found that the phone's owner was alive and that the number had been hacked by a third party. Singh said the local police was currently treating the incident as a racially motivated hoax. Singh has been living and working in the US since 2003 after graduating from a medical school in India.
He moved to Indiana three years ago to pursue an administrative position at Monroe Hospital. Indiana is one of only five states without a hate crime law, the Indiana Public Media News reported.
"This is one of several similar threats against Sikhs in Indiana in the last week including one incident which involved a handgun," PAC chairman Gurinder Singh Khalsa claimed.
One incident included a direct threat against a Sikh from an individual carrying a handgun.
"Somebody showed him the gun... and asked him, 'Who are you?' 'What country he belongs to?'" the report said.
"Intimidation and violence against the Sikh community has been on the uptick since September 11 across the country. We love this country.That's why we're here," said Gurinder.
Sikhs have also been threatened in Kansas and South Carolina, Gurinder said, adding that they have also received reports from a number of Sikh business owners of vandalism and intimidation. The committee is currently working with Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill to address widespread harassment and violence against Sikhs in Indiana.
"American society has no place for this type of violence," Gurinder added.
There have been a series of hate crime incidents against Indian-Americans. Weeks ago, Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed when a US Navy veteran opened fire at him and his friend before yelling "get out of my country" in Kansas. Earlier this month, a 39-year-old Sikh man was shot in his driveway in Washington state. The gunman had reportedly told the man to "go back to your own country" before pulling the trigger.