Thursday, May 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Sikh shot at in hate crime case

Phoenix, May 21
In a hate crime case, an Indian Sikh immigrant was shot and injured seriously by a group of white men, the police said.

Avtar Chiera (52), a truck driver, was apparently targeted by the white men because of his Sikh religious faith, Phoenix police detective, Tony Morales said yesterday.

Chiera had parked his 18-wheeler late Monday when the white men pulled up in a small red pickup truck and started yelling, “Get out of our country”. The men opened fire, hitting Chiera and seriously wounding him. He was not robbed and nothing was taken from the truck, Morales said.

In Mesa, Arizona, a Sikh man was shot dead a few days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks by a man allegedly angry who mistook Balbir Singh Sodhi for a Muslim. The suspect faces first-degree murder and other charges. AP

Chiera migrated to USA in 1987’

Chandigarh, May 21
Mr Avtar Singh Chiera, a resident of Cheeka Ladhana, a village near Banga, had migrated to the USA in 1987, says Mr Ekam Singh, his brother-in-law and practising lawyer at Nawanshahr.

“We came to know about the shooting incident from television only at about 9 pm today. I immediately rang up his family in Arizona. Though they say he is out of danger, he is yet to be operated upon for removal of a bullet from his abdomen,” said Mr Ekam Singh, talking to The Tribune on the telephone.

It was only a couple of years ago that Mr Chiera had moved from St Jose to Arizona. He had earlier met with an accident and was off work for a long time. Recently, he started plying a trailer. Mr Chiera, an Amritdhari Sikh, has two sons. Two of his brothers — Mr Balbir Singh and Mr Ajit Singh — are also in the USA. While Mr Baljit Singh is in New York, Mr Ajit Singh is settled in New Jersey. Mr Ekam Singh is married to one of two sisters of Mr Chiera. TNS


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