Canada: A 21-year-old Sikh student from India was attacked in Canada after a few unidentified people ripped off his turban and dragged him on the road using his hair in British Columbia province, reports have said.
The victim has been identified as Gagandeep Singh. The attack took place when he was heading for home after grocery shopping.
"I was horrified when I saw him. He could only speak in soft tones and he couldn't open his mouth," said Councillor Mohini Singh, who visited Gagandeep after he was attacked.
Narating the attack, the councillor said that Gagandeep was returning home in a bus after grocery shopping when he encountered a group of between 12 and 15 other young people. It was St. Patrick's Day and Mohini Singh says a rowdy group was on the bus, throwing a wig around.
"They were harassing him and they threw the wig at him. He told them not to bother him or he'd call the police, and they continued to harass him," she said. Gagandeep got off the bus.
"They got off after him, waited for the bus to leave and then they swarmed him, they beat him in his face, in his ribs, arms, and legs and then proceeded to grab his turban, pull his hair and drag him," Mohini Singh said, adding that the group took the turban with them when they left Gagandeep in a pile of "dirty snow" on the side of the road.
"Taking his turban was the worst, it feels like they've taken it as a trophy."
After he regained consciousness, Gagandeep called a friend who came to the scene and called 911.
"I entirely believe this is racism and it should be treated as that. It should be looked at through the lens of being a hate crime. This is so wrong on so many levels. This is not something that is acceptable anywhere -- not in Kelowna, not anywhere," she said.
"This is intolerable, it's absolutely disgusting," she added.
The Kelowna Royal Canadian Mounted Police, in a statement, confirmed that they are investigating after someone was "hit from behind and assaulted" by a group of people at the bus stop Friday evening and that responding officers found the victim "laying on the ground.
"The Kelowna RCMP take this very seriously and are concerned that this type of crime has happened in our city," spokesperson Constable Mike Della-Paolera said.
(With inputs from PTI)
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