A video showing a Sikh schoolboy being attacked by his schoolmates in UK has gone viral on social media platforms. The West Mercia police have begun an investigation and are treating the case as a hate crime.
According to Daily Mail, the West Mercia Police said, “This is clearly an incredibly distressing incident. We are treating this as a hate crime and with the utmost seriousness”.
The video shows the Sikh boy in a uniform being attacked by two others in uniform as he was walking back home from class. The boy’s turban was pulled off in a headlock - after which he was pushed to the ground and pinned down. Other students around him can be heard laughing in the video as he was repeatedly punched on the back of his head.
WHAT DID THE SCHOOL SAY?
Charlton School in Telford, Shropshire, told Daily Mail UK that the students involved were from their school, and the incident happened after school on 13 November.
According to BBC, the school said it had 'taken swift, immediate and appropriate action, including sanctions and targeted intervention for the perpetrators'.
"A police investigation is ongoing, and we are co-operating fully,” the statement from the school reportedly added.
“Although this incident did not take place during the normal hours of the school day, we have taken full responsibility for working with all students involved, and the wider school community, to prevent any further such incident from occurring,” said the school to Daily Mail UK, saying that they are fully cooperating with the police.
HOW HAS THE SIKH COMMUNITY REACTED?
Sikh Council UK condemned the bullying on Twitter, calling the attack “absolutely disgusting.”
It tweeted: “We trust West Mercia Police and the school involved to handle this matter with the sensitivity it needs”. They also tweeted that only last week they were working on raising awareness against this and the impact of such an event is dire on students’ and their families. In a series of tweets, they offered to support other students who may be facing harassment and bullying from classmates.
Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Labour MP for Slough, UK said that such anti-Sikh behaviour cannot be tolerated and he was looking to the police and school authorities to take swift action.
Meanwhile West Mercia police and crime commissioner John Campion has said tackling hate crime is a priority for the force, reported Birmingham Mail UK.
Meanwhile, the National Sikh Police Association has described the incident as an 'absolutely disgusting' attack, Daily Mail reported.
(With inputs from Daily Mail UK and Birmingham Mail UK)