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Selma Police Chief Says Sikh Prayer Leader Killed in Car Jacking, Not Hate Crime
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 1 month ago on
March 5, 2024

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Selma police chief said Raja Singh was not victim of a hate crime.

Police think this may have been a carjacking.

Singh’s temple is in a “state of shock.”


A Sikh prayer leader was killed in an apparent carjacking, Selma police chief Rudy Alcaraz said Monday, and he wasn’t a victim of a hate crime as some civil rights groups speculated.

Raja Singh, 29, described as a prayer leader and musician at the Sikh Center of the Pacific Coast, was shot and killed on the evening of Feb. 23. Alcaraz said the incident did not happen at the gurdwara — the Sikh house of worship — but near the location.

Preliminary information was that the victim was also known as “Goldy,” but gurdwara leaders tell GV Wire that is a different person.

The vehicle was later found burnt out near Yokuts Valley, an unincorporated eastern foothills community recognized by Fresno County officials as Squaw Valley.

Alcaraz would not provide more details, as the department continues to investigate leads.

“We have a notion of who the suspects are,” Alcaraz said. “There was no one looking to victimize based on religion or culture.”

No arrests have been made.

Temple Leader: Shocked

Harvey Singh, a board member of the gurdwara, said Raja Singh came to Selma from San Jose about two years ago, where he served a similar role at a temple there.

“We’re in a state of shock. We’re saddened by the news and shocked by the news. And we’re trying to pick the pieces up and go forward. We are obviously certainly sorry for him. And certainly, we’ve extended our condolences and, and, and empathy to his family back in India,” Harvey Singh said.

It is believed that Raja Singh was single without family.

Harvey Singh confirmed that Selma police served a search warrant at the gurdwara.

“They wanted to see if there’s any evidence of any kind of foul play evidence or anything else, or maybe some other reason they might have. They did serve a warrant. They did come and investigate. They had some people take some samples of things and take some photographs, but they were doing what police normally do,” Harvey Singh said.

CAIR, Family Questioned Nature of Death

A week after Singh’s homicide, the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on law enforcement “to investigate a possible bias motive.” Singh’s family members, who live in the Tanda Sahuwala village in Bijnor district in India’s Uttar Pradesh, speculated to the Times of India, that he may have succumbed to a hate crime.

Alcaraz said his department has been in constant contact with leaders from the gurdwara.

A GoFundMe account to pay for Singh’s funeral and memorial services has raised more than $22,000 toward its $30,000 goal. Harvey Singh said services will happen in Selma in about 10 days.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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