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Gruesome Killings, Racial Taunts, Vandalism: Indian Diaspora Faces Brunt Of Crimes Globally

Besides the increasing number of gruesome killings in US, Canada and Australia, racial taunts, assaults, hate-crime robberies, vandalism of their properties along with verbal and physical abuse have become characteristic features of neo-racial politics across the globe.

Protests against intolerance and hate crimes in the United States
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For the last few years the Indian diaspora in the US, Canada and Australia have been at the receiving end of the fatal crimes- some of which can be qualified as ‘hate crime’ as well.  

From Rishi Sunak’s elevation as the UK Prime Minister to Kamala Harris' appointment to the office of the Vice-President of the US, one can witness the increasing global prominence of Indian-origin politicians across the globe. However, such assertion of political power has been unfortunately accompanied by xenophobic hate crimes against the Indian diaspora for the last few years.   

Besides the increasing number of gruesome killings in US, Canada and Australia, racial taunts, assaults, hate-crime robberies, vandalism of their properties along with verbal and physical abuse have become characteristic features of neo-racial politics.

It is a widely known fact that the Indians constitute the highest-earning immigrant ethnic group in the US as it is home to more than 4.5 million of them. The massive Indian community also plays a crucial role in the growth of the world's largest economy. But the recent incidents of hate crimes have put a question mark on the security of the Indian diaspora in a foreign land.  

In September 2022, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued an advisory warning for the students in Canada regarding the increasing violence. Citing a significant increase in hate crimes, sectarian violence and anti-India activities, the advisory has asked the Indians in Canada to remain vigilant. 

Not only in Canada, for decades discrimination, violence and racism have been a part of mundane lives of Indians in Australia and the US. A throwback to the incidents may help us to understand how such racist attacks have been repeated several times without any significant change either in pattern or in motive.  

Attacks in US

Brutal killing of Sikh family in California 

The recent killing of a Sikh family in the US state of California sent shockwaves across the globe where all four members of the family including the 8-month-old the baby, her parents and uncle, were found dead in orchard, according to media reports.  

The family was identified as 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her 27-year-old mother Jasleen Kaur, her 36-year-old father Jasdeep Singh, and her 39-year-old uncle Amandeep Singh. 

The family, originally from Harsi Pind in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, was kidnapped at a business in Merced County, California. A vehicle owned by one of the family members was found on fire, which led law enforcement to determine that the four had been kidnapped. 

Indian-American women got abused verbally in Texas 

Back in August this year, a video made rounds on the social media where four Indian-American women were seen getting racially abused and humiliated by a woman of Mexican-American descent in the U.S. State of Texas. The assaulter Esmeralda Upton hurled racist taunts at them and accused them of "ruining" America and said that they should "go back to India".  

"I hate you Indian. All these Indians come to America because they want a better life," she was seen saying in a video of the incident that went viral. 

‘Disgusting Hindu’: The Taco Bell outlet incident 

Racial assaults these days also reflect the alleged rise in ‘Hinduphobia’ getting disseminated in the western countries. Few months back, Californian Rajinder Singh racially abused an Indian-American Krishnan Jayaraman and called him a “disgusting Hindu” in a Taco Bell outlet in Fremont.  

“The fuck your bean burrito looking at? Disgusting, bro. Maybe wear some socks,” the man said making gestures to Jayaraman’s feet. 

 “Nobody wants to see your ugly ass feet. Disgusting. You people are fucking ugly.” 

“Fucking nasty. Fucking disgusting human beings, bro. You’re disgusting, dog. Seriously. We’re tired,” the man says. 

In his anti-Hindu tirade while lashing out at him, Singh also yelled ‘beef’ at Krishnan’s face and repeatedly made use of the N-word, the most widely known ethnic slur.  

Lenient gun laws leading to killings in US 

Gun violence unquestionably is a leading cause of premature death in the US. Leniency in gun laws which gives easy access to gun licenses in different states of the country is mostly held responsible for such incidents.  

According to the American Public Health Association, unrestrained usage of guns kills more than 38,000 people and cause nearly 85,000 injuries each year in the US, and Indian Americans often end up becoming the victims of such violence. 

Back in June, a 31-year-old Indian-origin man Satnam Singh was shot dead in Queens while he sat in a borrowed SUV parked down the street from his home. This incident occurred within a few days since another Indian national, Sai Charan Nakka, 25, was killed after sustaining an apparent gunshot wound to his head in the US state of Maryland. 

According to a report in The New York Daily News, Satnam was sitting behind the wheel of a black Jeep Wrangler Sahara that was parked in South Ozone Park when a gunman suddenly approached and started shooting at him.  

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In March, an Indian-origin doctor, Rakesh Patel, was killed by persons who allegedly stole his Mercedes Benz and hit him with the car in Washington. The victim was outside his car when the attackers hit him while fleeing in the vehicle.  

Back in October 5, a 20-year-old Indian-origin student of Purdue University, Varun Manish Chheda, was murdered in his dormitory in the US state of Indiana. His Korean roommate has been arrested.

Cases in Canada 

After US, Canada recently also has made several headlines for killing of a number of Indians. 

Recently a 23-year-old Indian was found murdered at an apartment in Truro town of Canada's Nova Scotia province. Community members very strongly anticipated this to be a racially-motivated hate crime.  

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Radio Jockey attacked 

In August, a Punjabi radio host based in Brampton, Joti Singh Mann, was attacked in his own driveway by three people. They hacked at him with axes and a machete while he was heading for work. Consequently, Mann ended up losing his big toe and suffered from long-term hand injuries. 

The assailants broke the window of his car before dragging him out and beating him.  

A woman, who later was identified to be a part of local media, came to his rescue causing the perpetrators to flee from the scene.  

Student shot dead in Toronto  

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Kartik Vasudev, a 21-year-old student at Seneca College hailing from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, was fatally gunned down in Toronto as he stepped out of a metro station and headed towards his part-time job. He was rushed to the nearby hospital where he breathed his last.  

The Canadian police arrested a 39-year-old man and charged him with two counts of first-degree murder in two separate incidents 

Gandhi statue vandalised 

Back in July, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at a Vishnu Temple in the Richmond Hill neighbourhood of Canada was vandalised.  India immediately demanded a probe into the vandalism. According to police,  the incident being investigated as a hate crime. 

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“We are distressed at the desecration of Mahatma Gandhi statue at Vishnu temple in Richmond Hill. This criminal, hateful act of vandalism has deeply hurt the sentiments of the Indian community in Canada. We are in contact with Canadian authorities to investigate this hate crime.", the Consulate General of India, Toronto, said, 

Killings in Australia 

In a brutal incident, recently a 28-year-old Indian student, Shubham Garg, was stabbed multiple times in the face, chest and abdomen in Australia by a man who allegedly demanded cash. 

The incident took place on October 6 at about 10.30 pm, as Shubham walked along the Pacific Highway, NSW Police Force said in a statement. 

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Shubham suffered multiple stab wounds to his face, chest, and abdomen. He sought assistance from a nearby house before being taken to Royal North Shore Hospital. The man underwent surgery and remains there in a serious but stable condition, the NSW Police Force statement said. 

Police have arrested Daniel Norwood and the 27-year-old suspect is charged with attempted murder. 

In another incident, last year, the murder of 21-year-old Jasmeen Kaur had shocked the Indian community in Australia. Jasmeen, who used to work at an aged care facility, was found dead in a shallow grave in the Flinders Ranges. 

Jasmeen had gone missing on Friday night. Upon getting a call from her workplace regarding her absence, her aunt realised that she went missing.  

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The alleged accused, whose identity is being hidden, is denying his involvement with the incident. 

Way back in 2015 a 39-year-old techie from Mangalore, Prabha Arun Kumar, was brutally stabbed and robbed by an unknown assailant on her way back to home. 

After getting a call from her family, Prabha’s roommate discovered her lying in a pool of blood near her house. Her roommate immediately informed the authorities and rushed to the nearby hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.

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