Millennium Post

Could have been mistaken for NY bombing suspect: Sikh ‘hero’

Harinder Singh Bains, 51, said he does not like being called a “hero” for accurately identifying 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, the Afghan-born American man behind the bombings. Asserting that he is “what America looks like,” Bains said he did what any other American would have done.

“When I heard about the attacks and realised that the suspect was sleeping in a doorway across the street, I did what any American would do. I called the police. I am not a hero. The police are heroes; the EMTs are heroes; everyone who is working to bring New York and New Jersey together today is a hero,” Bains, who owns a bar in Linden, said.

He said as a Sikh-American, he understands that “I could have been mistaken for the perpetrator. My faith teaches me justice and tolerance for all and I know that I’m lucky to live in a community that shares this view.” 

Bains, who had emigrated from Chandigarh in 1996, stressed that after any attack, Americans should target people based on the evidence of their role in the crime and not because of their faith or their country of origin or their accent. “I came to this country from India 20 years ago to create a better life for my family. 

I am a father of four and a proud American citizen,” he said. Bains said America is strongest when all Americans stand together in the face of violence “intended to divide us.” On September 19, Bains unlocked the door of his deli when he noticed Rahami sleeping in a vestibule next to a tavern across the street. 
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