A Punjab-born Sikh taxi driver has said that four white men assaulted him in Berkshire, England, and asked if he was a member of the Taliban militant group.
Vaneet Singh (41), from Tilehurst suburb of Reading town, believes the four accused could have been Scottish or Irish. Singh, who has been left bruised and battered after the incident, told the police that the men also stuck drugs up his nose, vandalised his taxi and tried to pull his turban off.
One of them had asked to be dropped in nearby Bramley after all four were picked up from a casino in Berkshire.
“After he got out, he came up to my window holding a black box of substance which I think was cannabis. He asked me to try it and I said it was against my religion and then he lifted up my face mask and forced it up my nose. It left me feeling intoxicated,” Singh said.
‘This Was 100% a Racist Attack’
Another man asked Singh to stop to urinate.
"He got out and asked to drive the car and I refused. Then he started trying to pull my taxi plate off. I tried to call the police but the network was very poor. Back in the car, they slid their fingers inside my turban and tried to pull it off.”
“They also kicked and punched me in the back through the seat and kept tightening my safety belt. They said, ‘Are you Taliban?’ (and) I said, ‘No, I’m a Sikh’. (I) told them it’s a religious symbol and asked them not to touch my turban,” he added.
All the three men got out at a red traffic light in Basingstoke, kicked the back of Singh’s car, leaving a dent and left. Besides driving a cab, Singh also teaches tabla in Berkshire.
"I have neck pain and chest pain now and my body keeps vibrating. This was 100 percent a racist attack. I am usually a friendly guy, always laughing, and this has made me scared," he added.
Thames Valley Police said they were investigating the case but no arrests had been made so far.