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Sumedha Singh | HENB | New York | July 21, 2019:: Hindu priest was attacked by a 52-year-old man while he was walking down the street in his religious garb near a temple in Floral Park, New York, according to a US media report.
Swami Harish Chander Puri said that around 11 am (local time) on Thursday, near the Shiv Shakti Peeth in Glen Oaks, while he was walking down the street in his religious garb, a man came up from behind and started hitting him, repeatedly, PIX 11 news channel reported.
Puri said he was beaten so badly, he had to be rushed to the hospital.
The priest suffered bruises and abrasions all over his body, including his face during the attack on July 18, the channel reported.
A Facebook group called ‘Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus’ too posted about the incident.
“I’m in a little pain,” the priest was quoted as saying by the channel.
Police arrested 52-year-old Sergio Gouveia in connection with the attack. He’s 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, the channel said.
New York Police Department confirmed Sergio Gouveia, 52, was arrested and charged with felony assault and harassment in the second degree in the Thursday attack on a 62-year-old man. Police would not provide any details about the victim.
An NYPD spokesperson said the victim was taken to a hospital after being punched and hit with an object believed to be an umbrella. The victim suffered cuts to his head, nose, chest, arms and legs, the spokesperson said.
Investigators do not believe there is a hate crime component connected at this point, the second NYPD spokesperson said. The arrest paperwork states the dispute stemmed over the victim walking in the suspect’s neighborhood, another police department spokesperson said.
Some of the people who regularly attend the temple said they believe the priest was targeted. The attacker screamed things like, “this is my neighborhood,” during the incident, they said.
The incident comes days after US President Donald Trump took to twitter to target four democratic congresswomen including Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, a Somali-born US citizen, asking them to “go back” where they came from. Trump’s target was obviously Radical Left, Jihadi Muslims and provocative anti-Isdraeli elements in US.
“Our Country is Free, Beautiful and Very Successful. If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!” Donald Trump tweeted.
Taking his twitter handle, Upanada Brahmachari, Hindu interlocutor and Hindu Existence Web Editor conveyed, “President Trump mentioned obviously The Radical Left, Muslims & anti-Israel People against the interest of US. So, the attack on Hindu Priest of Shiv Shakti Peeth (Floral Park, NY) on July 17 was an irresponsible and hot-headed act. HINDUS LIVING IN US MUST FIGHT THE RADICALS”.
Clarifying his stand Brahmachari told HENB, Hindus and Sikhs living in US must not be close to the Radical Muslims, Khalistani, ultra Left and anti-Israeli elements of US or elsewhere who have already infuriated the US Nationalists enough. Hindus are never in any radical groups and Hindus living in US must stand with the Nationalists in US and fight against Radicals.
The Hindu priest is now recovering well and is staying in his Shiv Shakti Peeth temple in Floral Park, New York, after returning from the hospital.
NYPD must find whether the racist Sergio Gouveia has any connection with Radical Christian or Jihadi outfits.
It is also heard that the different Hindu Organizations and Forums may send a demand letter to President Trump to optimize the safety and security of Hindu Saints-Priests and Temple heads who are rendering their invaluable services in US.
__inputs from PTI, CNN and Pix11.com