Relative of Richmond Hill Sikh leader killed in Wisconsin shooting

Relative of Richmond Hill Sikh leader killed in Wisconsin shooting
By Karen Frantz

The Sikh community in Queens reacted with shock and mourning in the wake of Sunday’s mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., that killed six people, including the uncle of a leader of the Sikh Cultural Society in Richmond Hill.

“Nobody has the right to take away somebody’s life,” said Harpreet Singh Toor, a spokesman at the Sikh Cultural Society at 94-08 118th St. “We condemn any kind of violence against our fellow human beings.”

Mohan Singh Khatra, chairman of the Sikh Cultural Society, whose uncle Suvez Khatra was killed in the rampage, said he last spoke with his relative by telephone on the day he died.

“I feel really bad because we’ll never can see him again,” said Khatra.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who met with leaders of the Sikh community at the Sikh Cultural Society Monday, said he offered the community his prayers and condolences.

“No matter who you are, no matter where you’re from, no matter what religion you profess, you have a right to be safe in your homes, in your places of worship and on the streets of New York City,” he said.

The NYPD has ramped up security at Sikh temples throughout the city, although Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said there had been no specific threats made against the community.

Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at kfrantz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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