Sikh man assaulted, told 'go back to your country'

An intruder broke a window at Sikh Temple Modesto Ceres and punched a temple leader.

Last week in California's Central Valley, an intruder broke into a Sikh temple, destroyed windows, assaulted a temple leader, shouted obscenities and told him to go back to his own country before fleeing.

Priest at Sikh Temple near Hughson assaulted in apparent hate crime

Amarjit Singh, who lives and works at the Sikh Temple Modesto Ceres, was at his home on temple grounds late Thursday night when a masked intruder broke two windows in his bedroom. When Singh lifted the window blinds to look out, the intruder punched him in the neck and shouted "go back, go back to your country" before fleeing.

Deputies from the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department said, inexplicably, it's too early to call it a hate crime.

"What we have to prove is that a crime was committed with a motive based on gender, race, religion and so on," Sgt. Joshua Clayton told KCRA. I'm not sure how "go back to your country" isn't enough indication of motive.

Thankfully, Singh wasn't seriously hurt.

For Modesto Councilman Mani Grewal, who is a member of the temple, the motive is pretty clear. He says the assault is part of pattern, going back several years, of attempts to harass and intimidate temple members. Other incidents include motorists slowing down and shouting insults and slurs as they drive by, motorists pulling into the parking lot to peel out and then drive off, and people making threatening phone calls.

Meanwhile, the sheriff's department is reportedly increasing patrols around the temple and trying to determine that elusive motive for the attack. So far, investigators say they don't have any suspect descriptions.

More here: Sikh Priest Attacked Inside Hughson Home Told 'Go Back, Go Back'

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