US City Mayor Apologizes For Throwing Out Sikh Pamphlets


GARRETT – The mayor of Garrett has apologized to a local Sikh business owner for an act that she herself called, “unrighteous.”

The manager and part-owner of Quickway in Garrett, Kulwinder Nagra, 38, said he put pamphlets about his Sikh religion on the counter of the store after the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin .

“I just wanted to let people know who I am,” Nagra told KPC News. “After 9/11, there was a lot of misunderstanding. ”

Surveillance footage shows Hoeffel entering the store at about 12:55 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28. She bought a soft drink and walked away. She then returned to the counter, grabbed the small stack of pamphlets, took them outside and threw them into a trash bin.

Nagra said he went outside to ask the mayor why she took all four of the pamphlets that had been placed on the counter in front of the register.

“She said, ‘It’s against my beliefs,’” Nagra said. “She said, ‘This is against Christianity.’”

Hoeffel later said she disposed of the pamphlets because of a lack of personal interest, not as a statement about the religion.

Hoefell has since apologized, saying, “I just grabbed what was there.  I just decided I didn’t want it.”

Hoefell and Garrett City Coucilman Brad Stump met with Nagra and his business partners on Monday to discuss the incident.

“I personally believe if you do something wrong, you go to that person,” Hoeffel told KPC news. “I apologized for offending them. I said I know they are a peaceful people.”

Nagra said the Sikh religion teaches forgiveness and the issue was resolved for him when Hoeffel apologized.