Union City Sikh community distraught over man's desecration of holy passages

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Everyday a group of Sikh elders gather at Contempo Park in Union City. It's a time they cherish, when they can catch up and hang out. But around 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, the men were interrupted. That’s when someone destroyed passages from their holy book. Members say they're upset and hurt by the man's actions.

"Why he did that? We didn't say anything to anybody. So why did he do that to us," says Trilok Kumar of Union City.  "He came with the holy script and he started ripping it up and throwing it all over the people," says Avnit Kaur of Union City. 

Kaur's father was there when the man desecrated the Holy Book. He tried to stop and detain the man but was injured in the process. Witnesses say before the man got away he spoke in Punjabi saying he'd pick up the papers.  Instead he ran to his car and took off.  "I really don't know why a person would do that. Cause I feel like they were targeted the people that were sitting here," says Kaur.  "This act was hateful and wrong, but we must reject this invitation to be divided. We won’t tolerate religious hatred; we will stand together,” says Congressmen Eric Swalwell, a member of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus.

Union City Police are looking for the man to see why he would do such a thing. But since what he did wasn't illegal, police say they will not arrest him.  "The person owned his own book. He was in a public place on public property and he basically has a first amendment right to do what he wants with his stuff," says Graetz. 

"For us it's a crime. For us it's really crime we but we can't do anything. We cannot take law in our hands," says Kumar. 

Although the members here say they're sadden and deeply hurt. They'll turn to the book the man destroyed to explain his actions.  "We just pray for him please God give him good thoughts so in the future he doesn't do that kind of thing," says Kumar.