One elderly Sikh was shot dead and another critically injured by assailants on Friday evening at Sacramento in the U.S., triggering panic in the neighbourhood having a sizable Sikh population.

Surinder Singh, 68, and Gurmej Atwal, 78, residents of Elk Grove in Sacramento were attacked when the two went out for a walk, police said.

Mr. Singh, who worked as a truck driver in India and Libya before moving to the U.S. five years ago, died on the spot.

He hails from Pandori Ganga Singh village in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. The funeral has been scheduled for March 12.

Mr. Atwal, hailing from Farallah village in Nawanshahr district of Punjab, who moved to the U.S. in 2001, continues to be in critical condition.

Police have not ruled out the possibility of a hate crime, but there is no such concrete evidence as yet.

“At present, we have no evidence to indicate there was a hate or bias motivation for this crime,” said Elk Grove police chief Robert M Lehner.

State of panic

A number of Sikhs living in the city are in a state of panic and have alleged that it was a hate crime. No arrests have been made so far.

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