Attack on Indian priest in New York

Attack on Indian priest in New York


NEW YORK: Swami Harish ChanderPuri, founder of the Shiv Shakti Peeth temple, in the Glen Oaks neighborhood of Queens, New York, was brutally attacked during his usual morning walk by a 52-year-old man.
The attacker Sergio Gouveia, reportedly screamed “this is my neighborhood” during the assault. Police arrested Gouveia in connection with the attack. He is being charged with assault, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon. The police are looking into whether the attack should be investigated as a hate crime.

Mat McDermott, a director of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), said in a statement that “such an attack – occurring as it did in the borough of Queens, perhaps the most ethnically diverse place in the entire world – is particularly senseless and tragic”.
“We’re pleased that Swamiji is recovering from his injuries,” he said.

“We’re also pleased that Representatives Tom Suozzi, Grace Meng, and Carolyn Maloney have offered their support to the local Hindu community.”
McDermott also praised the office of Mayor Bill de Blasio for its quick response, sending community liaison officer Rohan Narine to the temple.
“HAF urges police to investigate the attack as a hate crime, and if it is determined that bias was indeed the motivation, appropriate charges should be added to those of assault, harassment, and weapons possession that Gouveia already faces,” he said.

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