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68-Year-Old Sikh Man Brutally Assaulted in California Hate Crime

California police are investigating a brutal assault on a Sikh man, whose collarbone was broken, as a hate crime.

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California police are investigating a brutal assault on a Sikh man, whose collarbone was broken, as a hate crime.

The assault occurred at 7 am on December 27, when Amrik Singh Bal, 68, was waiting for a ride to take him to work. It was cold and foggy and the temperature was below zero degrees celsius. Bal was dressed in thick winter clothing, wearing a blue turban with his white beard flowing.

Police say two white men in a car drove up to him and start swearing at him. Sensing trouble, Bal tried to cross the street but the men backed up the car and hit him. They then got out of the car and physically attacked him before driving off. They may have been scared off by an oncoming car.

While they hit him, they asked him, “Why are you here?”

Bal suffered cuts to his nose, his hand and a broken collarbone. He was transported to the Community Regional Medical Center and since been released.

An activist for the Sikh community, Iqbal S Grewal, said he believes that the attack is part of the backlash for the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, as people often mistake Sikhs for Muslims.

Sikhs have been mistaken for terrorists and radicals and continue to suffer after 9/11. This is the latest episode of what Sikhs have been enduring when they are very peace-loving and hard-working citizens of this great country and not members of al-Qaida or ISIS or any other radical group.

Iqbal S Grewal

Police are seeking assistance from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to solve the case.

They are also asking the public to call Crime Stoppers at 559-498-7867.

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Atrocities on the Rise

There are more than 500,000 Sikhs in the US. Reports of bullying, harassment and vandalism against members of the community have risen in recent weeks, especially after the San Bernardino shooting.

Recently, a Sikh temple in Orange County, California, was vandalised, as was a truck in the parking lot by someone who misspelled the word “Islam” and made an obscene reference to the ISIS.

Former NCAA basketball player Darsh Singh said that he has been through similar atrocities and has heard insults throughout his life, including recently when someone yelled ‘Osama!’ at him as he was crossing a street in Phoenix.

California police are investigating a brutal assault on a Sikh man, whose collarbone was broken, as a hate crime.
Darsh Singh, poses for a photo with his wife, Lakhpreet Kaur, outside his office in Dallas. (Photo: AP)

For most Sikhs, much of the backlash has been frequent stares or comments and occasional online insults.

A Sikh woman was recently forced to show her breast pump before taking her seat on an airplane in Minneapolis because another passenger thought she might be a terrorist.

Several Sikh football fans said they initially were not allowed into the Qualcomm Stadium to watch the San Diego Chargers game against the Denver Broncos earlier this month because several of them were wearing turbans.

Ninety-nine percent of Americans are good, then a person who just came out of a tavern after a few beers, you don’t know what he’s thinking at that point.

Rajinder Singh Mago, Director, Sikh Religious Society, Chicago

California police are investigating a brutal assault on a Sikh man, whose collarbone was broken, as a hate crime.
Inderjit Mukker, after he was injured in a September 2015 road rage incident by a Chicago teenager. (Photo: AP)

In another gruesome incident dating back to 2012, white supremacist Wade Michael Page killed six people and wounded four others at the Oak Creek Sikh temple.

(With AP inputs)

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