Community rallies around Sikh man after possible hate crime

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A community is taking a stand against hate crimes in Fresno and rallying to support a Sikh man who brutally beaten.

During a town hall meeting at the Paaras Youth Center, there wasn't a sense of fear or worry. Instead, the room was filled with confidence and unity - people of all colors and religions stood together to restore faith in the community and to send a message to those who are filled with hate.

Naindeep Singh who helped organize the meeting said, "if the question ever should arise, 'why are you here?', the answer for us is very simple because this is our home."

It's the same question Amrik Singh Bal - a 68-year-old Sikh man heard on Saturday as he was beaten up by two men in the street. Sukhain Singh is the victim's nephew. He says his uncle has broken bones, bruises and he can't work.

Singh said, "he's suffering with the pain and doctors say he will not feel better then we need to conduct surgery on him."

Police are calling it a hate crime and officers are trying to track down the men who attacked Bal. The FBI and the US Attorney's Office are now involved. County supervisors and city leaders are also showing support.

City Council Member Clint Olivier said, "I come here this evening to pledge to you that I will do whatever is asked of me and my council office to help law enforcement catch the dirtbags who did this to him...this shouldn't have happened to him in our community, in our city."

Ramar Dawar who lives near Bal added, "if they injured this gentleman, 68 years old, they will injure another person, they need to be behind bars...they need to be behind bars, that I can say."

The community, city and county leaders have pitched in to offer a reward. As of Tuesday night, it was $14,500. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Fresno Police Department.
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