Demand to probe attack on Sikh American as a hate crime

New York: An American civil rights organisation has demanded investigation into a brutal attack on a Sikh American under hate crime.

Last month, a group of men had assaulted 41-year old Maan Singh Khalsa, knocking off his turban and cutting his religiously-mandated unshorn hair with a knife. He is working in California as an IT specialist. On the night of September 25, when he was going home, some men threw a beer can at his vehicle from their car.

“Khalsa drove away from the scene but the men followed him and assaulted him through his open car window, knocking off his Sikh turban and hitting his face repeatedly,” according to a statement from The Sikh Coalition, the largest Sikh civil rights organisation in the US.

Khalsa said there were “five to six white males in their late 20s to early 30s” who abused him and three of them then attacked him physically. Shouting that Khalsa’s hair should be cut off, the men pulled his head out of the window, and cut a fistful of his religiously-mandated unshorn hair with a knife, the complainant alleged.

Khalsa sustained injuries to his fingers, hands, eye and teeth.

According to news reports, the Sikh Coalition has written to the Richmond Police Department and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office on behalf of Khalsa, urging authorities to conduct a hate crime investigation and prosecution in the case.

“The attackers caused physical injuries and deep harm when they targeted my Sikh faith,” Khalsa said in a press statement released by the Sikh Coalition.

“I urge a thorough investigation so we can address the tide of violence and bigotry in this country.” Sikh Coalition Legal Director, Harsimran Kaur urged authorities to fully investigate “this hateful attack” on Khalsa and his Sikh identity.

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