Leader of Indo-Lankan descent attacked in violent carjacking in US. Image Source: IANS News
New York, Sep 8 : A Democratic leader of Indian and Sri Lankan descent from the US state of Minnesota has said she was beaten and bloodied by four young men in front of her children in a carjacking incident, which took place outside her home.
Shivanthi Sathanandan, a Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor (DFL) Party official, said the attack, which occurred on Tuesday morning, left her with a broken leg, deep lacerations on head, and bruising and cuts all over her body.
“You could have been reading the obituary for me and my children today. But instead I’m here. To write this… I have a broken leg, deep lacerations on my head, bruising and cuts all over my body. And I have rage,” Sathanandan wrote in a Facebook post shared on Wednesday.
“Four very young men, all carrying guns, beat me violently down to the ground in front of our kids. The young men held our neighbours up at gunpoint when they ran over and tried to help me. All in broad daylight,” she said.
Sathanandan, the Second Vice Chairwoman for the DFL, a Democratic party affiliate, said her four-year-old daughter “screamed non-stop” and her seven-year-old son wailed for help “because bad guys are murdering his Mama in the backyard”.
Sharing her bloodied picture on Facebook, Sathanandan called for tougher crime laws after being beaten with “guns, kicks and fists”.
“Look at my face. These criminals will not win. We need to take back our city. And this will not be the last you hear from me about this,” Sathanandan wrote.
“I’m now part of the statistics. I wasn’t silent when I fought these men to save my life and my babies, and I won’t be silent now. We need to get illegal guns off of our streets, catch these young people who are running wild creating chaos across our city and hold them in custody and prosecute them.”
Confirming the incident, the Minneapolis Police said in a statement to KSTP channel that Sathanandan’s vehicle was later abandoned by the suspects and recovered, but no suspects have been arrested so far.
Sathanandan, who had pledged to “dismantle” the Minneapolis Police Department three years ago, thanked Minneapolis 4th Precinct Officers, Mayor Jacob Frey, paramedics, neighbours, friends and DFL family, who came to her rescue “during this terrifying experience”.
Sathanandan made history as the first woman of colour and first South Asian woman to be elected as Second Vice Chair of Minnesota’s DFL. She has been involved with the party since 2006. Since then, she has served as Vice Chair of the 4th Congressional District, a member of the State Outreach and Inclusion Committee, co-chair of the State Credentials Committee, a board member of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus, and a board member of the Minnesota Asian Democratic Association (also a constituency caucus of the DFL).
Daughter of immigrants, Sathanandan grew up in St Paul and is a University of Minnesota graduate.