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Hindu Priest Brutally Attacked in NY, Suspect Arrested

QUEENS, NY- A Hindu priest Swami Harish Chander Puri was attacked at the Shiv Shakti Peeth in Floral Park, New York,. A few people claimed he was assaulted because of his religious attire.

A Hindu priest wearing religious attire was attacked near a temple in New York’s Queens area last week. Swami Harish Chander Puri said he was repeatedly assaulted by a man, who approached him from behind, around 11 am on July 18. He suffered bruises all over his body, including his face.

Some of the devotees at the temple alleged Puri was targeted because of his dress. They claimed the attacker cried out “this is my neighborhood” during the assault. A New York Police Department spokesperson said Puri was punched and hit with an object such as an umbrella.

The police have arrested 52-year-old Sergio Gouveia in connection with the case and charged him with felony assault and harassment in the second degree. Investigators said that at present they were not treating the incident as a hate crime.

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