State Representative Maryam Khan was assaulted in Connecticut following an Eid service.

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By Qayam Masumi, The India Observer, TIO, NJ: The Hartford police reported that a 30-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

A state representative from Connecticut was subjected to an assault following her attendance at an Eid al-Adha service in downtown Hartford. According to authorities and police, a 30-year-old man named Andrey Desmond from New Britain was arrested in connection with the incident.

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Police were initially alerted to the downtown area of Hartford around 11 a.m. ET after receiving a report of a man assaulting a woman. Upon arrival, they discovered that the man had been apprehended by bystanders, leading to his subsequent arrest. The suspect allegedly approached Khan, making unwelcome advances, and then attempted to prevent her from leaving while assaulting her.

As the suspect tried to escape, a worshipper pursued and detained him, allowing the police to take him into custody. Khan sustained minor injuries and received medical evaluation at the scene.

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The charges against Desmond include third-degree assault, unlawful restraint, breach of peace, and interfering with police. The motive behind the assault remains unclear at this time.

Following the incident, Farhan Memon, the chair of the Connecticut Council on American-Islamic Relations, called on local, state, and federal authorities to investigate a potential bias motive for the attack and ensure the safety of the Muslim community in Connecticut during ongoing Eid al-Adha celebrations. Memon highlighted the unfortunate pattern of American Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim, becoming targets of hate due to their attire, race, or ethnicity.

He stated that the recent Eid al-Adha prayer service at the XL Center in Hartford gathered the largest number of Muslims in recent years, warranting an increased police presence. He pointed out previous attacks on places of worship and Muslims in the United States, indicating the need for heightened security measures. The Muslim community had to incur the expense of hiring two off-duty officers.

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Memon expressed that considering the size and significance of the event, more police officers should have been present.

Connecticut House Speaker Matt Ritter and Majority Leader Jason Rojas assured that State Capitol Police, in coordination with Hartford Police, will conduct a thorough investigation.

They lamented that Rep. Khan was attacked on a holy night of peace and prayer, a time when she should have been celebrating with her loved ones.

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Eid al-Adha, also known as the “Feast of the Sacrifice,” is a joyous occasion marked by special prayers and feasts. The festival began on Wednesday.

Governor Lamont acknowledged that the details of the assault were still unfolding. He expressed confidence in law enforcement’s commitment to conducting a comprehensive investigation into the incident.

According to her biography on the Connecticut House Democrats’ website, Khan, who represents the 5th District encompassing Hartford and Windsor, was elected as the first Muslim member of the Connecticut House in a special election held in March 2022. She was re-elected in November for her first full legislative term. Khan resides in Windsor, which is located approximately 10 miles north of Hartford, with her husband and three children.

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Governor Lamont expressed his support for Rep. Khan, recognizing her dedication as a public servant committed to enacting legislation that uplifts her constituents in Hartford and Windsor. He conveyed his thoughts for her and her loved ones during this challenging time.

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Curated and Compiled by Humra Kidwai

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