US Sikhs killing: Islamic organisation offers reward for info on killers

Two elderly Sikh men were gunned down in Californian last week.

Last Updated: Mar 08, 2011, 00:18 AM IST

Washington: A top Islamic body in the US on Monday offered a reward of USD 5,000 for the information
leading to the arrest and conviction of those who gunned down
two elderly Sikh men in a Californian city last week.

Sikh men in beards and turbans are often targeted for
discrimination by bigots who mistake them for Muslims, the
Council on American-Islamic Council-Sacramenton Valley`s
Executive Director, Basim Elkarra said.

"The Muslim community offers its condolences and
support to the Sikh community in this time of sorrow, he said.
"We will offer a USD 5,000 reward to anyone who comes
forward with information that leads to the arrest and
conviction of the perpetrators," he said in a statement.

Residents on Elk Grove in Sacramento, California;
Surinder Singh, 68, and Gurmej Atwal, 78, were shot at by
unidentified assailant on Friday evening when the two
neighbors were on their daily evening walk.

Sikh Gurdwaras in an appeal urged Sikh community
members to try not to wear traditional ethnic `kurta` and
`payjama` while going for evening walk or any public
appearance, said Gurjatinder Singh Randhawa, chief editor of
the regional Sikh newspaper Punjab mail USA.
Singh, who worked as a truck driver in India and
Libya before moving to the US, five years ago, died on the
spot. He is originally from Pandori Ganga Singh village in
Hoshiarpur District of Punjab.

His funeral has been scheduled for March 12.

Atwal, who moved to the US in 2001, continues to be
in critical condition. He is from Farallah village in
Nawanshahr district of Punjab.

The reward offered by CAIR-SV is in addition to the
similar reward of USD 20,000 being announced by the local
Gurudwaras.

Both Singh and Atwal were in their traditional Sikh
dress during their evening walk when they were shot at on
Friday evening.

Randhawa said this is the second such incident
against the community in this area.

The first one was about four months ago in which
Harbhajan Singh, a cab drive, was shot dead, in West
Sacramento, he said, adding that the assailant was arrested.

Last fall, CAIR-SV called for an FBI investigation
of an attack on a Sikh cab driver in West Sacramento.

The driver said passengers made anti-Muslim remarks
during the attack.

PTI