ROME (JTA) — Italian Jewish leaders expressed solidarity with a homeless Indian immigrant who was beaten and set on fire near Rome.
"When we [Jews] are the object of hostile acts, we receive support from all sides, and we want to do the same in this case," said Rome’s Jewish community president, Riccardo Pacifici.
Police said Navtej Singh, 35, suffered serious burns in the attack Sunday. Three men beat Singh while he was sleeping at a train station in the town of Nettuno, then doused him with gasoline and set him alight, according to police.
"We feel a vital part of Italy and join in protest with everyone against such actions," said Rome’s chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano called the incident a "horrifying" example of racism and xenophobia. But, according to news reports, one of the suspects confessed that the three had been ready to target any person found sleeping in the street to "teach him a lesson" and do something "sensational to experience an intense emotion."