INDIANAPOLIS — Sajit Kaur is a cancer survivor and was in India when she received word in late April that her son, Harpreet, was missing on Indianapolis’ west side after telling his father he would return following a quick trip to the grocery store.
“They cook something and eat some food and Harpreet figured out he wanted to go to the store and buy some groceries,” said Avtar Singh Assi, secretary of the Gurdwara Gur Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple on South High School Road who translated during our interview with the parents. “He went to the Indian store and bought some groceries and after that he was to go to Aldi to pick up some milk. But after that when he didn’t show up in a couple of hours his father told me and he called him and the phone was answered but there was no reply, nobody would talk.”
Singh was discovered last Monday in the back of his car parked at the Darby Court Apartments on West 21st Street, just inside the Marion County border and four miles directly from the family home in Avon.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said Singh, 28, was shot to death and a neighbor said she saw the man who parked the car and fled in another vehicle that day. Friday night, IMPD homicide detectives arrested Jayvawn Birdsong, 21, for reckless homicide.
“The family wants to get more into it, get more into what happened, how it happened, why it happened,” said Assi. “They want to know what happened, they want justice, they want to know who did it, why he did it and they have to get justice, that’s what they want.”
Through the interpreter, Milkha Singh said he was a truck driver alongside his son. He said the family moved to Avon from New York City two years ago.
“He came here a few years ago and tried to settle his life,” Assi said. “He was not married yet. And his legal status was good. He was trying to get his paperwork done.”
Singh’s murder is the second time the Indianapolis Sikh community has been rocked by violence in a little over a year.
It was in April of 2021 that four Sikhs were among those killed during the FedEx mass killings.
“Many Sikhs from FedEx, they quit and even some families they were scared to even live here anymore after that because of the discrimination,” said Assi. “We are here to just live a good life.”
The temple literally stood behind Sajit Kaur as she grieved on Mother’s Day for the loss of her son.
“Love’s the word we believe in of our holy book that’s what teaches us we are all equal,” said Assi, “all same, white, black, brown, we are all same.”