Update! Its Happening in the Bay

Tragedy falls upon our community again. Just two days ago, two Sikh men were killed in cold blood inside their Richmond, CA (Bay Area) Sahib restaurant. Paramjit and Ravinder Kalsi seemed to be well-liked recent immigrants in the East Bay community. Members of the Berkeley Sikh community may remember these brothers as the two use to repair apartments and do tile work in the area.

kalsi-brothers.jpgNewspapers quoting members of the El Sobrante Gurdwara sangat seem to indicate that these brothers were honest, hard-working, and well-liked. “They were totally pure guys, not in a fanatical way, just really hard-working,” friend Gurman Bal said. “They were very spiritual. They listened to Indian religious music, watched religious TV. They knew their path, and they stayed on it.”

At this point, police seem baffled by the murders. A Richmond Police Detective said, It does not look like a robbery. It looks like these two guys went in there to kill. That’s what worries me. Why?”

Another officer commented that the motive is completely unknown. Even veterans to law enforcement are puzzled by this. Based on the brothers lifestyle and the dynamics of how it went down, its very unique. Its also very disturbing.

Some Sikhs believe that the murders may have been a hate crime. Witness purport that the murders may have been Latino or Asian.

Bay Area Sikhs have been in the focus this week, but mainly for unwanted reasons. The brothers surviving the San Francisco zoo seemed to be of Sikh background and now we have just heard of these two murders. Violence and the murder of Sikhs seem common in the Bay Area. These two victims make a total of three (to my knowledge) Sikh murder victims in the Bay Area within the last 5 weeks.

Our communitys high concentration here may be a partial explanation, but is there anything else at play. Sikhs in the Bay Area enjoy living here so it is not widespread or causing fear, but there seems to be something going on. In the Bay Area, most people know about Sikhs or at least know that they are not Muslims or Arabs. Although I am hesitant to label anything a hate crime when there is so little information, I am wondering what should be our community response? Is there any community information we should be spreading or do we just tolerate some level of violence will occur? It just seems for us it is such a higher rate.

UPDATE!

Last week, we blogged about the murder of 2 Sikhs, Ravinder and Paramjit Kalsi, in their restaurant Sahib in Richmond. Friends, family, and the El Sobrante Gurdwara sangat collected money for the grieving family to help with the funeral expenses. I am glad that the Bay Area Sangat is coming together to help the family. If you also wish to help, the Ravi & Pammi Kalsi Memorial Fund has been started at Wells Fargo Bank (Account # 7294234344).

The Richmond Police has released a grainy picture of the suspects from the surveillance footage. However, at this point, no one has been apprehended. The Richmond police have set the reward for information leading to the apprehension of the killers at $10,000. Community members have matched that with an additional $10,000. In fact it seems that the Richmond Police has also enlisted the help of the FBI to probe the possibility of the homicides being hate crimes. Our thoughts are prayers are with the family.


bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark
tabs-top


6 Responses to “Update! Its Happening in the Bay”

  1. Camille says:

    This news is awful — I hope the families of the victims are doing ok, and that the ESG is rallying support.

    Violence and the murder of Sikhs seem common in the Bay Area. These two victims make a total of three (to my knowledge) Sikh murder victims in the Bay Area within the last 5 weeks.

    While there's certainly violence towards Sikhs in the Bay, often hate-related and particularly aimed towards taxi-wallahs and working class Sikhs, I would be surprised if there's an actual murder trend. The violent crime rate in Richmond is at its highest in something like 15 years right now, so this could be unique to the surge happening there. (Also, you're not counting the deaths of the two boys at the SF Zoo as murders, right?).

    I'm sure information will start flowing via email soon — I still haven't heard anything on the Bay Area listservs (yet), but I'm sure there will be some kind of formal community response.

  2. Camille says:

    This news is awful — I hope the families of the victims are doing ok, and that the ESG is rallying support.

    Violence and the murder of Sikhs seem common in the Bay Area. These two victims make a total of three (to my knowledge) Sikh murder victims in the Bay Area within the last 5 weeks.

    While there’s certainly violence towards Sikhs in the Bay, often hate-related and particularly aimed towards taxi-wallahs and working class Sikhs, I would be surprised if there’s an actual murder trend. The violent crime rate in Richmond is at its highest in something like 15 years right now, so this could be unique to the surge happening there. (Also, you’re not counting the deaths of the two boys at the SF Zoo as murders, right?).

    I’m sure information will start flowing via email soon — I still haven’t heard anything on the Bay Area listservs (yet), but I’m sure there will be some kind of formal community response.

  3. me says:

    The three is not counting the SF Zoo. 5 weeks ago a father and son were shot at a Santa Rosa store killing the father, while the son seems to be paralyzed.

    I wouldn't classify anything as a 'murder trend,' but is there differences in metropolis locales other than population densities?

    And what are 'formal community responses'? What are they currently and what should they be in the future?

  4. me says:

    The three is not counting the SF Zoo. 5 weeks ago a father and son were shot at a Santa Rosa store killing the father, while the son seems to be paralyzed.

    I wouldn’t classify anything as a ‘murder trend,’ but is there differences in metropolis locales other than population densities?

    And what are ‘formal community responses’? What are they currently and what should they be in the future?

  5. Gupt Singh says:

    I just donated. It is the first time I donated money to a community cause like this. I don't even live in the bay area, but I am glad that through this blog I was able to learn of a tragedy and actually take action to help the family. Even if you can only donate $5 I encourage you to do it. Let's see if we can get 5 other people from this blog to do the same.

  6. Gupt Singh says:

    I just donated. It is the first time I donated money to a community cause like this. I don’t even live in the bay area, but I am glad that through this blog I was able to learn of a tragedy and actually take action to help the family. Even if you can only donate $5 I encourage you to do it. Let’s see if we can get 5 other people from this blog to do the same.