Khalistani Lawlessness now extends to New Zealand. Radio Virsa NZ talkback host, Harnek Singh was seriously injured in an attack in a south Auckland suburb days before Christmas.
Singh was left in critical condition and rushed to hospital, needing surgery, after he was assaulted outside his home on Glenross Drive in Wattle Downs on 23-December 2020.
Counties Manukau police said the incident happened at around 10:20pm Wednesday evening.
The victim was assaulted on Glenross Drive.
“It is believed that more than one offender has been involved,” said Detective Inspector Chris Barry.
“The victim has received critical injuries as a result of the attack and has undergone surgery at Middlemore Hospital.”
Sukhminder Singh, a family spokesman and colleague at Radio Virsa, a small Punjabi radio station in Papatoetoe, said he was heading home when a group attacked his car.
“They smashed his windows and I don’t know how he got out, but he was badly injured. He had deep cuts, possibly from a sharp object,” Singh said.
He said it wasn’t the first time Singh has been assaulted – he claims there was an assault outside an Auckland restaurant on his birthday, in July.
Singh claims his friend had been getting numerous death threats because of an opinion he gave on his radio programme.
While he didn’t want to comment whether that was related to his colleague’s recent attack, Singh said he was upset that people would go as far to hurt someone for having a different opinion.
“This assault shouldn’t have happened in the first place, and having a different opinion shouldn’t allow anyone to be attacked.”
Police wouldn’t comment regarding possible motives for the attack.
Detective Inspector Chris Barry of the Counties Manukau CIB did say they are following positive leads in their investigations and are keeping an open mind while the circumstances of the incident, and its motive, are established.
Singh said his friend remains in critical but stable condition in hospital.
Cedar Park Superette owner shop owner, Uday Patel, said the Glenross Dr neighbourhood has been left shocked by the event.
“We couldn’t believe it when we heard. The shop was closed by then but when police came in the next day to ask for CCTV footage, and we asked them what happened, we were all shocked,” Patel said.
“This is a very safe neighbourhood, very quiet. So when something like this happens, everyone is on edge. He was assaulted just outside his house, as he was getting out of his car – I can understand how scared people must be feeling right now.”
Neighbours near Singh’s home said nothing of the sort has happened in their neighbourhood in the past.
One resident said he saw sirens on the night of the incident and thought it was a car crash.
“When you get assaulted outside your own home, that’s just scary.”
Friends of Harnek Singh, 53, say the attack in the driveway of his Glenross Drive, Wattle Downs home was religiously motivated.
It is the second attack on Singh this year. He was assaulted in Love Punjab Restaurant on his birthday in July 2020.
Singh’s colleagues at Radio Virsa, where he is a talkback host to the Sikh community, say he was returning home this week from that day’s broadcast when he was set upon – possibly by a group of attackers.
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“Police are following positive lines of inquiry and are keeping an open mind while the circumstances of the incident and its motive are established.”
Balwinder Singh, 42, says Harnek Singh is “like a brother” to him and is part of the team at Radio Virsa, which discusses religious and cultural issues in the Auckland Sikh community.
“From the wounds he had, you could tell he was attacked by sharp weapons,” Balwinder said.
“He’s okay, his condition is stable and he’s at Middlemore. We believe so [he was stabbed]. The motivation behind the attack obviously has to do with what he says on the radio, what opinion on different issues and topics which have been discussed on the radio.
“Mainly on this radio programme a lot of religious issues have been discussed. So let’s just say a lot of traditional myths that people believe in, and we on the radio try to explain to people to look at it in a practical way other than the mythical point of view that most people have.
“Obviously that would upset someone who is religiously fanatic, and someone who looks at the religion in a mythical point of view as a lot of religions do.”
Balwinder said they “definitely” had concerns for Singh’s future safety.
“After what took place on the 23rd it’s hard to comprehend in a country like New Zealand, someone can approach the matters in such a way. That’s bloody hard to understand,” Balwinder said.
Singh’s wife Parbhjeet told the Herald the family were coping.
“He’s fine now. He’s still in hospital,” she said.
Middlemore Hospital confirmed this afternoon Singh remained in a critical but stable condition, after undergoing surgery.
The Radio Virsa station has courted controversy in the past. Radio Virsa has in the past criticized and exposed Khalistani Terrorist Bhindrawala and other Pakistan supported Khalistanis like General Shabeg Singh, Sant Thakur Singh, Bhai Sukhdev Singh Babbar and General Labh Singh and pseudo-courts of Damdami Taksaal which was not liked by Pakistan supported Khalistani Radicals.
In June 2020, the Broadcasting Standards Authority under the pressure from Pakistan supported radical Khalistanis upheld a complaint made about comments by Singh.
The authority heard eight complaints against comments Singh made in Punjabi language to a caller about the Sikh sect Damdami Taksaal in response to recent violent incidents in India.
Another Radio Virsa colleague, Sukhminder Singh, 37, said the station workers had been barraged by threats since Singh’s December 23 attack.
“There have been hundreds of threats over the phone and over the social media to all of us after this incident,” Sukhminder said.
“We’re all a team, he’s our captain.
“I want to make clear that the issues we have is not just us here, it is around the world – an intolerance of having a different opinion than the tradition.
“When Harnek speaks on the radio it’s not only a religious purpose, he always discusses the social values we have in our country and how our community can lag behind sometimes and the change he wants to bring in the youth. We are all law-abiding citizens.
“We know we have strong cultural values but we have to mingle here, it’s a new culture and the changes must [happen], and some people don’t like change – it doesn’t matter what community you talk about. It is the threat of a change, they don’t want to accept.
“They still want to live 100 years back and they don’t want to accept.”
The Papatoetoe station describes itself as “a project of a group of New Zealand-based Sikhs” who believe that “creations of mediocre or even dubious artistic merit are being imposed on the Sikhs all over the world”.
Counties Manukau CIB Detective Inspector Chris Barry is asking for any witnesses to come forward.
“Anyone who witnessed this incident or has information which may assist the investigation and has not yet spoken with us is urged to come forward,” Barry said.
“You can contact Counties Manukau Police on (09) 261 1321 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Points to Ponder
Whatever the view it is, do People not have a Right to take a divergent stand? Then what is the difference between ISIS/Al Qaida/Khalistani radicals as they do not appreciate any criticism and resort to life threatening violence?
If a small country of 5 million is not able to secure its own population from mob lynching, what sort of message can New Zealand send to the world over safety of life and investments?
One of the reasons why Harnek Singh was attacked was his pro-Indian government views over the Farm Bills in India. How exactly does it matter to a New Zealander whether there is farm brokerage in India or not, especially when it is clearly known that such sort of a system doesn’t exist in New Zealand?
If Canada is any indication, Jacinda Arden should be wary of the path the country is taking. If votes come because of open support to terrorism, it’s a matter of time the snake turns around and bites the hand which feeds it.
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