NRI Pulse Staff Report
Atlanta, GA, July 21, 2019: A Hindu priest in Queens, New York was brutally attacked while walking down the street in his saffron religious dress, in what police think could be a hate crime.
A man came from behind Swami Ji Harish Chander Puri near the Shiv Shakti Peeth in Glen Oaks, and started hitting him repeatedly. He was beaten so badly, he had to be rushed to the hospital, reports Pix11.
Police arrested the attacker, 52-year old Sergio Gouveia. He’s being charged with assault, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon.
Devotees at the Shiv Shakti temple said the attacker screamed things like, “this is my neighborhood,” during the incident.
Sadhana- a coalition of progressive Hindus, through a Facebook post, condemned the crime.
“Bigotry and xenophobia does not distinguish between Hindus and Muslims or black and brown skin. When the US President targets immigrants and refugees and encourages chants of “send her back” at rallies, this results in real harm inflicted on our communities.”
“Thankfully, Swami Puri ji is recovering, and is praying for the man who attacked him. We stand with him and the Shiv Shakti Peeth community, and invite all of our interfaith allies in the Queens / NYC area to do so as well,” it said.
“May justice be served, and may love prevail over this hate we are seeing here and all over the country. We all belong here!,” the post added.