Queens Sikhs vow to help victims

THE COURIER/photo by Billy Rennison


One day after the massacre of six at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, an NYPD patrol car was stationed outside the Sikh Center of New York in Flushing.

“This is a hate crime so it not going to be easy to stop,” said Gurvinder Singh, 45, a temple member. “Synagogues have security, churches have security, and now our temples have security.”

On Monday, August 6, officials, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, gathered with Sikh leaders to condemn the violence and assure them that the city would dispatch additional resources at temples, or gurdwaras.

Sikh leaders at Queens temples said they shared a sense of relief at the stationing of police officers outside.

Gianee Anand Singh, 59, leader at the Sikh Sabha of New York in Flushing, said he never felt afraid to enter his place of worship, yet the police presence still puts him at ease.

“I am grateful to the American government for doing something for us,” he said. Gurkran Jeet Singh, 32, echoed the sentiment.

“This [tragedy] is too bad,” he said. “We are scared of that happening. We are scared for ourselves. But the police are helpful, they make us feel more safe.”

Singh said that the Sikh Sabha, with between 200 and 300 members, intends to help the victims of the Milwaukee massacre.

“Together, all the Sikh community will do something,” he said.