Little India: Overseas Indian, NRI, Asian Indian, Indian American

Store Worker Arrested Over Sikh Shop Owner’s Murder in New Jersey

Roberto Ubiera

A 55-year-old man was arrested for allegedly killing his Sikh employer in New Jersey. Tarlok Singh, an Indian-American store owner, was found stabbed to death at his store in East Orange, New Jersey, on Aug. 16. 

Roberto Ubiera was arrested and charged with murder, the Essex County prosecutor’s office announced on Aug. 21. It called the incident a homicide, PTI reported. 

Ubiera was hired at the store to do odd jobs. His motive or trigger behind the murder of his employer was not immediately known.  

Tarlok Singh, the 55-year-old owner of the Park Deli and Grocery store, was found with a fatal stab wound on his chest by his cousin. Singh, who is survived by his wife and children in India, had been running the store for the past six years.  

This murder was the third incident in three weeks targeting the minority Sikh community in the United States. 

Local Sikh groups as well as politicians in India had condemned these brutal attacks on Sikhs in United States. They requested Sushma Swaraj, India’s Minister for External Affairs, to take up the issue with the U.S. government. 

In one another incident, Sahbit Singh Natt, an elderly Sikh man, was attacked in California by two teenagers during his morning walk on Aug. 6. Two suspects were arrested on Aug. 8, including a police chief’s son, on charges of attempted robbery, elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon.  

A few days before Natt was assaulted, a 50-year-old Sikh man was allegedly beaten up by two white men in a racist attack in California. He was hit in the head with a rod several times while his attackers uttered racial slurs, saying “You are not welcome here,” and “Go back to your country.” 

Condemning the increase in hate crimes and attacks against Sikhs across the country, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Sukhbir Singh Badal and community groups had emphasized the importance of making people aware about Sikhism. 

Over 25 million Sikhs live around the world, of which around 500,000 live in the United States, according to the Sikh Coalition.