In a suspected incident of hate crime, a 32-year-old Nadala resident was stabbed to death by unknown persons outside a grocery store at Modesto city in California, U.S., on Friday.
The victim, Jagjeet Singh, was a staffer at the commercial establishment.
A pall of gloom descended on Nadala on Saturday, after Jagjeet’s relatives learned about his death. According to references, Jagjeet – or Jagga – had been living with his sister & brother-in-law in Modesto ever since he left for the U.S. over a year ago. He is survived by his wife, Kuljeet Kaur, and 2 sons – Ishmeet Singh (9) & Dilpreet Singh (7) – who live in Kapurthala. Jagjeet had 3 siblings – 2 younger sisters also an elder brother settled in France.
“I was told by Sikander Singh, a co-worker at the store, that Jagjeet has fallen victim to a hate crime,” said Kanwarjit Singh Cheema, the victim’s brother-in-law. Sikander had witnessed Jagjeet’s stabbing, he added.
According to Kanwarjit, a man – possibly a US national – came to the store about 11.30 pm and asked for a packet of cigarettes. Though, Jagjeet refused to hand it over as the customer was unable to produce the mandated identity card for making the purchase. The man then reportedly left the store in a fury, mouthing racist abuses & warning Jagjeet of dire consequences. The whole sequence was captured by a CCTV camera placed in the store premises.
Kanwarjit told when Jagjeet went out a few minutes following, he was attacked with a sharp-edged weapon. He died en route to a local hospital.
His father, Mohinder Singh, was sad. “Jagjeet was a kind-hearted and hardworking person. We will miss him,” he said. “He went to the US one-and-a-half years ago to support the family. We took loans from relatives to send him there.”
The family told that although police are investigating the case, the attackers are yet to be arrested. “We will decide when to cremate him after receiving his body from the hospital,” Mohinder said.