Ignorant about Hindu – Muslim differences, Hate crime murder of a Hindu in USA

published on December 31, 2012

Woman arrested, charged with hate-crime murder
S Rajagopalan | Washington

The New York police have arrested the woman who pushed Indian immigrant Sunando Sen to his death in front of an oncoming train at a city  subway station on Thursday night and charged her with committing a hate-crime murder.

The woman, Erica Menendez, 31, chose Sen for the fatal shove, saying that she believed him to be a Muslim and that she hated both Hindus and Muslims ever since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

Awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court charging her with second-degree murder as a hate crime, Menendez, if convicted, faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison.

In a display of total ignorance about the Hindu and Muslim faiths or the facts about the religious affiliation of those who carried out the 9/11 attacks, the woman came up with the strange claim that members of both the faiths brought down the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

A statement by Queens District Attorney Richard A Brown cited her as telling the investigators in sum and substance: “I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.”

Stating that the victim had no chance to defend himself after being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train, Brown added: “Beyond that, the hateful remarks allegedly made by the defendant and which precipitated the defendant’s actions can never be tolerated by a civilized society.”

Asked about reports that the woman was pacing up and down the platform and mumbling to herself before pushing the victim onto the tracks, Brown said he had no information on her criminal or mental history. “It will be up to the court to determine if she is fit to stand trial,” he said.

Sen, the 46-year-old Indian immigrant, is due to be cremated on Monday by his friends. A bachelor, the Kolkata-born Sen shared an apartment with four friends in Queens borough. He had no close relatives in the US, while his parents were no longer alive.

Expressing her condolences, Indian ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao termed it a senseless and foul murder. “R.I.P Sunando Sen, citizen of India who has been taken away from us in an act of murder most senseless and foul,” she said in a Twitter message, adding the Indian consulate in New York was in touch with friends of deceased.

The arrest of Menendez, a resident of Rego Park in Queens, on Saturday followed the release by the police of a sketch and a surveillance video that was telecast by various networks. A passer-by on a Brooklyn Street spotted the woman who had fled after the attack and called the police, who responded soon enough and took her into custody.


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