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Sikh man shot dead outside gurdwara in Alabama, authorities probe racial bias

Raj "Goldy" Singh, 29, died of a gunshot wound on Friday near the Sikh Center of the Pacific Coast, a gurdwara, in Alabama's Selma. This is the second case of an attack targeting the Indian diaspora in Alabama after Pravin Raojibhai Patel, 76, was shot dead last month over an altercation.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Montgomery Published on: March 01, 2024 13:24 IST
US, Alabama, Sikh man shot dead, gurdwara
Image Source : X Raj 'Goldy' Singh, the Sikh man killed outside the gurdwara in the US State of Alabama.

Montgomery: A Sikh leader, reportedly a musician, was shot dead outside a gurdwara in Selma city of Alabama, US, on Friday night, leaving his family members to question whether the homicide was based on his race or religion, according to local media reports. This is the second case of a deadly incident in Alabama targeting the Indian diaspora in less than a month.

According to Selma-based news outlet GVWire, the 29-year-old Raj "Goldy" Singh died of a gunshot wound on Friday near Highland and Rose Avenues located close to the Sikh Center of the Pacific Coast, a gurdwara. The Council on American-Islamic Relations called on law enforcement “to investigate a possible bias motive” on Thursday.

“Because of the rise in bias-motivated incidents we have witnessed in recent months, and because this shooting occurred near a house of worship, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this crime with the possibility of a bias motive in mind," said CAIR National Communications Directors Ibraham Hooper in a news release.

However, Selma police are saying there is no indication of racial motivation, according to Sergeant Caleb Garcia. He said Raj was a gurdwara employee and his death is being actively investigated. However, police are unsure if the homicide is related to a carjacking in Tulare County. 

Second case of Indian death in Alabama

Last month, an elderly Indian-origin motel owner in the US State of Alabama was shot dead by a customer following an argument over a rental room, adding to the string of violent incidents against the community that has left Indians shocked in the country. Pravin Raojibhai Patel, 76, was the owner of the Hillcrest Motel in Sheffield and was shot dead last week, according to local media reports.

According to Sheffield Police Chief Ricky Terry, William Jeremy Moore, 34, was arrested for the shooting of Patel. Moore came to the property looking to rent a room, after which an altercation occurred and Moore pulled a gun and shot the motel owner, Terry said. “Moore was quickly apprehended by Sheffield Police on 13th Avenue when he was trying to break into an abandoned house,” he added.

The murder weapon was found in Moore's possession when he was arrested. A felony complaint states Patel tried to get Moore to leave before the shooting. Moore started to leave when he then turned and shot Patel twice in the chest. There have been a string of deaths of an Indian or Indian-American in the country in recent months, which has left the community shocked and shaken. 

(with PTI inputs)

ALSO READ | US: Indian-origin motel owner, 76, shot dead in Alabama after altercation over room

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