Senior Indian diplomats in the US have thanked the authorities for the quick arrest of the assailant of a Hindu priest in the Queens, and the two US Congress members for condemning the attack.
Consul General in New York Sandeep Chakravorty met Swami Harish Chander Puri on Sunday and expressed gratitude for the “quick arrest” of the assailant.
“Met with Swamiji of the Shiv Shakti Peeth who was attacked by miscreants. He is at home, recovering and has resumed his spiritual duties. Thanks to the police for quick arrest of the assailant. Many thanks to Congress members Grace Meng and Tom Suozzi and the Indian community for their support,” Chakravorty tweeted, which was retweeted by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Both Meng and Suozzi, condemned the “heinous” attack, saying they stood in solidarity with the Hindu community.
On Thursday, Puri, 62, was attacked by a man near the Shiv Shakti Peeth in Glen Oaks. He suffered bruises and abrasions on body, including face.
In a tweet, Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla thanked the Indian Consul General for visiting the priest. “Thank you Sandeep Chakravorty for meeting Swamiji and offering support and assistance,” he posted.
The New York police arrested 52-year-old Sergio Gouveia in connection with the attack.
While attacking Puri, he had shouted, “this is my neighbourhood”. Gouveia was charged with felony assault and harassment of second degree.
The incident happened days after US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to target four democratic congresswomen, including Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, a Somalia-born US citizen, asking them to “go back” where they came from. “Our Country is Free, Beautiful and Very Successful. If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!” Trump had tweeted.