HomeAmericasCrimeMayor Ravi Bhalla Has Got Letters Threatening To Kill Him, Family

Mayor Ravi Bhalla Has Got Letters Threatening To Kill Him, Family

Mayor Ravi Bhalla Has Got Letters Threatening To Kill Him, Family

Mayor Ravi Bhalla Has Got Letters Threatening To Kill Him, Family

Photo: cbsnews.com

HOBOKEN CITY, NJ (IANS) –  Ravi Bhalla, the Sikh mayor of this city has said that he has received a series of hate-filled letters via email threatening to kill him and his family if he doesn’t resign.

Ravi Bhalla, who became the first Sikh to be elected as the Mayor of Hoboken City in November 2017, told CBS News on October 17 that the first letter, which was sent more than a year ago, called on him to resign.

While the second letter threatened his life, it was the third letter, which came soon after the second, that shook Bhalla and his family.

“This is your last warning. If you don’t resign immediately, we will kill you, we’ll kill your wife, we’ll kill your children,” the contents of the third letter read.

Another letter read, “It’s time to kill you”, the news report said, adding that the rest of the content was too disturbing to share.

“There was a lot of angst, anger, a lot of hate, combined with actual threats upon my life and the life of my children and my wife,” Bhalla, who has lived in Hoboken for 22 years, said.

Law enforcement agencies have provided Bhalla with 24-hour security, including for his two children, aged 15 and 11, at school.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Bhalla told CBS News that during the same time, his neighbors, his brother, and a few city colleagues also began receiving packages with sexually explicit and threatening materials. While the person responsible for those was caught and charged, the person behind the threatening letters is still at large.

Asserting that hate is not welcome in the city, Bhalla said he will stand strong against hate and is “very proud to lead the city as an American of Sikh background”.

Being aware of the backlash Sikh Americans endured after 9/11, Bhalla said that “there still is a strain of extremism in America, and it’s just unfortunate to see that small strain is somewhere in Hoboken, as well”.

And I think that’s what needs to be called out and that’s what people need to know about so that we can eventually put an end to it through education and through love,” he said.

Bhalla’s remarks came as a 19-year-old Sikh was punched multiple times in a racially motivated attack and an attempt was made to remove his turban onboard a bus in New York City last week.

According to new FBI data, Sikhs remain the second most targeted group under religiously motivated hate crime incidents with 198 cases of anti-Sikh hate crime victimizations recorded in 2022.

 Bhalla has specialized as a civil rights lawyer, earning national recognition from The New York Times for his legal advocacy after suffering a violation of his own constitutional and civil rights during a jail visit to a client.

The incident motivated Bhalla to lead a successful campaign to reform the federal government’s visitation policies at prisons nationwide.

He served for eight years on the Hoboken City Council before becoming the mayor and is now contemplating running against first-term Congressman Rob Menendez from New Jersey’s 8th district.

Share With:
  • Hell with the threats. He should run and carry fire arms on his oerson.

    October 18, 2023
  • The Yahoos are wasting their time by threatening a Sikh Mayor. They should know better; Sikhs do not retreat regardless of the threat and its implications.

    October 18, 2023
  • Sad to hear about the threats probably due to him wearing turban or covering that is perceived as that of Talibani. Any public service post always carry risk of assassination. World is full of jealous and hateful people. That does not mean you give up and run. He has, just like all mayors, senators, etc., have 24-hour security. Moreover, the pay and respect for the job is good.

    October 18, 2023
  • JUNK mails are not worth any publicity or will again any popularity to win votes in election.

    October 18, 2023
  • “According to new FBI data, Sikhs remain the second most targeted group under religiously motivated hate crime incidents with 198 cases of anti-Sikh hate crime victimizations recorded in 2022.”
    I am a Hindu, not a Sikh, but being a brown-skinned guy from India, it does bother me a lot to read statistics and incidents regarding anti-Sikh hate crimes.
    Here are some key factors contributing to the vulnerability of Sikhs to hate crimes:
    Mistaken Identity: Sikh men often wear turbans as a religious requirement. Turban-wearing Sikh men are sometimes mistaken for Muslims or Arabs, and in the aftermath of events like the 9/11 attacks, there have been incidents of hate crimes directed at them. This is because of a lack of awareness about the distinct religious and cultural identities of different groups.
    Xenophobia and Racism: Hate crimes against Sikhs can also be rooted in xenophobia and racism. Sikhs who have migrated to Western countries from South Asia, particularly India, have been targeted because of their ethnicity and perceived foreignness.
    Religious and Racial Prejudice: In some cases, Sikhs have faced hate crimes due to religious prejudice. Lack of awareness about Sikhism and its teachings has led to misconceptions and stereotypes, which can fuel prejudice and hatred.
    Terrorist Attacks: Sikhs have been victims of hate crimes after terrorist attacks, particularly when the perpetrators are falsely associated with Sikhism. For instance, after the 2012 Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, the Sikh community faced hate crimes due to the shooter’s mistaken association with the religion.
    Can Sikhs Take Steps To Reduce Hate Crimes Against Them?
    I looked into this issue and the following is what I learn about Sikhism and Sikhs from “FAQ The Sikh Coalition”


    The most widely accepted definition of a Sikh comes from the Sikh code of conduct, the Rehat Maryada. Originally written in Punjabi, it is translated as:
    “A Sikh is any woman or man whose faith consists of belief in:
    One God,
    The ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh,
    The Guru Granth Sahib,
    The utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus,
    Who has faith in and aspires to take Amrit, initiation ceremony into the Khalsa,
    And who does not owe allegiance to any other religion.”
    As with most religions, however, a devotee cannot be confined to a definition.

    Sikh Gurus strongly forbade all rituals and superstitions. Sikhs are thus not allowed to eat any food prepared through a ritualistic process (e.g., Sikhs are not meant to eat Kosher or Halal). There is no mandate allowing or disallowing Sikhs to eat meat – it is a personal choice. Some Sikhs, through their interpretation of Sikh teachings, may choose to be vegetarians. Sikhs are also not supposed to drink alcohol or consume any other intoxicants.

    All initiated Sikhs are required to maintain uncut/untrimmed hair. But, as in every religion, there are people at different levels of observance and commitment to their faith. Everyone is on their own personal journey. Some Sikhs may cut their hair, but that does not exclude them from the Sikh community.
    I personally know of Sikhs who cut their hair, and shaved their beard before leaving India for USA, although they still believe in the doctrines taught by Sikhism and practice them in their day to day life….doctrines, such as equality of all human beings, selflessness, compassion, hard work, courage, community and family values, and devotion to God.
    It seems that Sikhism “forbids all rituals and superstitions” and some people can interpret that growing hair and wearing a turban is a form of ritual and what matters is the “spirit” of Sikhism, not the “letter” of Sikhism,
    In light of the above, I come to the conclusion that orthodox and initiated Sikhs may not want to abandon the typical practices of being a Sikh, such as growing hair, wearing a turban, and the like, but other Sikhs and their children may choose not to indulge in these practices simply to make life simple and minimize the chances of becoming a victim of hate crimes. It’s simply a matter of personal choice, nothing more, no

    October 18, 2023
  • nothing less.

    October 18, 2023

Leave A Comment