Indian American Muslims condemn attack on Hindu priest in New York

A group of Indian American Muslims visited Swami Harish Chander Puri in New York and wished him speedy recovery (Photo: IAMC)

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC ), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has expressed unequivocal condemnation for the cowardly attack on Swami Harischander Puri, a Hindu priest based in Queens, NY on July 22, 2019. The attack happened around 11 AM just blocks from the Shiv Shakti Peeth Temple near 85th Ave. on Glen Oaks. Swami Puri, a resident of Queens for 30 years, later said he does not know his attacker, raising the likelihood that he was attacked for his faith and ethnicity, which would be hate crime.

“The apparent hate attack on Swami Harish Chander Puri is reflective of the xenophobia and racism that is threatening  our shared American values,” said Mr. Ahsan Khan, President of the Indian American Muslim Council. “We call upon Indian Americans of all faiths, and indeed all people of conscience, to come together to combat bigotry in all its forms, whether it is in India or the United States,” added Mr. Khan of IAMC.

A delegation of IAMC volunteers from NY/NJ area visited Swami Puri and wished him speedy recovery.

Indian-American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation.

IAMC is said to be the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation.

What had happened?

A Hindu priest was attacked in a Queens, New York, neighborhood this week, and a suspect was arrested in the case, a congresswoman said Saturday,” CNN had reported.

According to a news report in, Swami Harish Chander Puri, 62, lives in Queens, New York. On July 18, around 11 am, he left the Shiv Shakti Peeth temple on 264th Street and Hillside Avenue in Glen Oaks, a few blocks from his residence. While he was walking, a local resident Sergio Gouveia, 52, came after him. Gouveia shouted, ‘This is my neighbourhood’ before repeatedly hitting Puri with his fists and an umbrella. Puri told that the man said nothing at all beyond ‘I’ll kill you.’ Puri does not remember how many times he was hit — or whether anything other than fists were at play. He said he only knew he was on the ground with blows raining down on him. Someone called the police. The police came in 2-3 minutes and dragged Gouveia off Puri. The priest gave all these details at a press conference on July 23.


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