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Sikh News Sikh Victim Navtej Singh Brutally Beaten In Italy

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SPNer
Jun 1, 2004
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SPN
Rome, Italy: A homeless Indian man who was burnt and beaten in after a savage attack in Italy at the weekend will undergo his first operation at Rome’s St Eugenio Hospital on Friday. First Secretary at the Indian Embassy in Rome, Sushmit Biswas, spoke to Adnkronos International (AKI) about the attack which left Navtej Singh Sidhu with a fractured skull and burns to 40 percent of his body.

The 35-year-old Sikh is currently in the intensive care unit of the hospital, after he was savagely beaten, insulted and set alight in the small hours of Sunday as he slept at the railway station in the coastal town of Nettuno, south of Rome.

Police have arrested three local youths aged between 17 and 30 on suspicion of Sidhu’s attempted murder for hitting him over the head with a bottle and kicking and punching him before spraying metallic paint in his face. They then doused him with petrol and set him alight.

His face was reportedly completely bloated and unrecognisable after the attack and his eyes were bloodshot.

“Our priority is Sidhu’s health and to get him the best medical attention,” Biswas said.

He is getting regular feedback on Sidhur’s condition and said is confident he is in “safe hands”. St Eugenio hospital has a renowned burns unit and expertise in skin grafts.

Unless there are complications, Sidhur is due to undergo his first operation on Friday, when surgeons will carry out a skin graft on his lower torso with tissue from a tissue bank, Biswas said.

The embassy on Tuesday made contact with Sidhu’s aunt in his native Punjab, Biswas told AKI.

Sidhu comes from a poor smallholding family and lived in Kokari-Kalan village in northwestern Punjab state’s Moga district before he came to find work in Italy five years ago.

Sidhur’s aunt, Jagdish Kaur, who lives in a neighbouring visit, has been informed of the attack on her nephew and was shocked at the latest misfortune to hit the family, Biswas told AKI.

Kaur told the Indian Embassy Sidhur’s parents and grandparents are dead, and so are his elder sister and brother-in-law who had two children.

It is not known if Sidhu had been helping provide for the orphans, Biswas said. Sidhur has a surviving sister, Mandip Kaur, who is married with a child, and who also lives near Kokari-Kalan, Biswas said.

“The man comes from a very poor background. He sold off all his property and land including a field to come to Italy,” said Biswas.

It is not known how much Sidhur paid for his passage to Italy, but would-be immigrants typically pay as much as 20,000 euros to people trafficking organisations, Biswas said.

He said the Indian Embassy in Rome had reported the case to the government in New Delhi.

Sidhur is an undocumented immigrant in Italy and worked here for five years as a labourer in the building trade before he lost his job four months ago and became homeless because he could no longer afford a rent.

He was reportedly a little better on Tuesday, spoke a few words, and received a visit from Nettuno’s mayor, Alessio Chiavetta. Rome’s mayor Gianni Alemanno and the Indian Ambassador, Aris Khan, have also visited Sidhu in hospital, as have Biswas and members of the Indian immigrant community.

The attack, which has drawn condemnation from immigrants, Italian politicians and charities, is not the first against an Indian in Italy.

An Indian PhD student was set upon last year in Rome by four youths, but the embassy said no arrests were made in relation to the incident.

An Indian illegal immigrant agricultural worker who had a heart attack in near Mantova in northern Italy last July died after his employers reportedly panicked and left him in woodland rather than taking him to hospital for immediate medical treatment.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
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Kalyug! How terrible! Too much for one person, one family to bear. So many prayers are needed for him. But also for the souls of the ones who have abandoned God.
 

dalsingh

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Jun 13, 2006
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London
Well this kind of racist scum attacks used to be all too common in the UK in the 80's and early 90's.:(
I'm glad you pointed that out Randip. I'm surprised at the timidity of some Sikhs in the US and other places. Those of us who grew up in the 70s/80s witnessed these types of racist "p4ki bashing" attacks. We also witnessed members of the community defending it in individual acts of bravery and organised defence.

Sikhs globally should learn lessons from this.
 

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