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Monday, March 04 2024

UK teen arrested for attacking elderly Sikh in hate crime incident

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a hate crime incident in which an elderly Sikh was beaten by a group of teenage boys in a town in south east England
Photo Credit : IANS

London: A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a hate crime incident in which an elderly Sikh was beaten by a group of teenage boys in a town in south east England.

The boy, arrested last week on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent, has been released on police bail until February 15 next year, Thames Valley Police said.

On November 21, Inderjit Singh (58) was walking through Langley Memorial Park in Slough when he was approached by the group of young boys.

The offenders — aged between 13-16 years — circled the victim, kicked and pulled him to the ground before fleeing, according to the Thames Valley Police.

One of the offenders also tried to grab Singh’s beard, police said, adding that they are investigating the case as a hate crime incident.

“This is still an active investigation and we are seeking anyone with information to make a report… We take all reports of hate crime seriously as we know that they have a devastating impact on individual victims and targeted communities,” Investigating Officer, Detective Constable Holly Baxter, based at the Slough police station, said.

Singh sustained three broken ribs as well as swelling and cuts to his hand, and he was taken to hospital for treatment, but has since been discharged.

Following the attack, the Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Slough released a statement urging anyone who witnessed the attack or had any further information to contact the police.

In a message posted on social media, the gurdwara said it “will not tolerate any such attacks on our Sikh community in Slough”.

“We have met with representatives from the Gurdwara and continue to conduct further patrols in the area and anyone with concerns should speak to a uniformed officer or contact us by calling or via our website,” Baxter said.

Describing the incident to the BBC, Singh, who has lived in Slough for 30 years, said: “The first one he tried to grab my beard. I just pushed him away… Another boy tried to kick me. I just tried to defend the kick.”

“Then the next moment, they pulled me back from my coat, I fell on the floor and they started kicking me,” Singh told the BBC, adding that his turban protected his head from injuries.

Singh said that at the time of the incident, he had his phone and 200 pounds in his pocket with credit cards, debit cards in his wallet.

“They didn’t take anything from me, that means that this is a hate crime. If they were after money they could take the money but they didn’t take anything,” he told the BBC.

He said he is also now worried about his 80-year-old mother. “This could happen to anybody. I think twice before go out now from home.”

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