LONDON: A 16-year-old Afghan Sikh teenager has been stabbed to death on the streets of London, causing heartbreak and anger within the wider British Sikh community.
Rishmeet Singh, who was named locally, was killed by a gang on the residential Raleigh Road in Hounslow, near Southall, at around 9 pm on Wednesday. Members of the Sikh community told TOI claimed he had been killed by a Somalian gang. One theory is they were trying to steal his Gucci pouch, which was fake. Rishmeet died at the scene shortly after paramedics arrived. The metropolitan police confirmed a murder investigation was underway and homicide detectives from specialist crime have been informed.
A member of the management committee of Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar, Southall, which caters to the Afghan Sikh community, told TOI: “Rishmeet Singh was an Afghan Sikh and his family were members of our congregation. His parents were born in Afghanistan and moved to the UK. We only found out on Thursday morning. The entire Sikh community is devastated and we will be holding a vigil on Friday in his memory, which his parents will be attending. We totally condemn gang culture and racial hatred.”
Rishmeet is the 28th teenager to be killed on the streets of London this year. His murder comes one month after 18-year-old Afghan refugee Hazrat Wali, who had fled to London for a better life, was stabbed to death on a Twickenham playing field on October 12.
“Police were called to Raleigh Road at 21:07 hours on Wednesday to reports of a stabbing. Officers attended along with paramedics from London Ambulance Service. A male, believed aged 16, was found with stab wounds. Despite the efforts of emergency services, he died at the scene a short time later. His next of kin have been informed; formal identification awaits. There have been no arrests,” a spokesman for the metropolitan police said.
Ealing Southall MP Virendra Sharma said the murder was “a horrible crime, one that is sadly far too common this year”. He said young men and women should have the confidence to walk the streets of the capital and not run the risk of being targeted for mugging or murder. He called on the police and the government to act to prevent another tragedy.