Balbir Singh Sodhi became the first victim of hate crime after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in the US. Now his brother has said that Sikhs have always stood for justice to all and respecting people of different colour, creed and gender would be a great honor for Balbir. The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center completed 20 years on Saturday, in which about 3,000 people from more than 90 countries were killed.
Rana Singh Sodhi recalled the tragedy that struck his family a few days after the terrorist attacks in the US when Sikh people were being targeted for their looks. He said in a video message released by the ‘National Sikh Campaign’ that my brother who believed in Sikhism had a turban on his head and a beard on his face. The man thought he looked like a Taliban. He attached our turban to those Taliban and shot and killed my brother.
The Sikh organization paid tribute to Balbir, saying that on September 15, 2001, four days after the terrorist attack, Balbir was planting flowers outside his gas station in “Mesa” when a man in a vengeance shot him and killed him. Death happened. The organization said it was the first case of hate-motivated murder since the 9/11 attacks. Balbir’s killer Frank Roc is serving a life sentence in jail.
Rana Singh Sodhi recalled in the video that on the day of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Organization, his Balbir called him and asked him to open the TV and watch the news. He said that our country has been attacked. Perhaps the same day pictures of (Osama) bin Laden started showing on TV. Rana said that before the 9/11 attacks, he was never worried about his safety. But after the terrorist attacks, people started raising slogans against us using abusive words to go back to the country.
Rana said that on the day his brother was shot, he got information about firing from an employee. He said, “I called my brother but he did not respond. Then I learned that he had been shot. Rana said that in 24 hours the killer was caught and put behind the bars and his family got justice. He said that we are all equal. It doesn’t matter colour, creed and gender. It would be a great honor for my brother to respect people of different colour, creed and gender.