New Delhi, December 2
A New Zealand court has convicted three Khalistani supporters for a brutal attack on a Sikh radio jockey in a case of religious fanaticism and intolerance.
“It bears all the hallmarks of religious fanaticism…. Violence of this kind is committed to what is perceived as the furtherance of the greater good....Sentencing in this context requires a different approach. The emphasis must be placed on protecting the community from further violence and it is essential to send a strong message of deterrence to others,” observed the judge while sentencing Sarvjeet Sidhu to nine-and-a-half years’ imprisonment for attempted murder, reported New Zealand Herald newspaper.
According to the prosecution, Harnek was followed by three cars full of men and was stabbed “within an inch of his life”. He locked the doors of his vehicle and began pressing the horn, which attracted the attention of neighbours.
Sukhpreet Singh (44) was found guilty of being an “accessory to attempted murder” and was sentenced to six months of home detention.
An unnamed 48-year-old “devoutly religious Auckland resident” was sentenced to 13-and-a-half years imprisonment for planning the hit. “He harboured resentment against the radio host for his political views and more liberal interpretation of their mutual Sikh faith,” the judge noted while sentencing the trio.
Victim suffered 40 stab wounds
The attack occurred on December 23, 2020, when Harnek Singh was ambushed by a group of religious extremists in his driveway. He suffered over 40 stab wounds and required over 350 stitches and multiple surgeries to recover, an Australian website reported.
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