Glasgow, Scotland - On Saturday 17 February 2007, a 22-year-old Sikh student waiting at a bustop on his way back from work was set upon and attacked by a gang of white racist men. The young Sikh man reported the racially motivated incident to the police and to the Sikh Helpline, an organisation that provides a confidential telephone service counselling, and an online forum and services on www.SikhHelpline.com, providing support and guidance to those facing issues relating to culture, religion, bullying and abuse.
Lakhivar Singh, an oversees post-graduate student from India studying at Paisley University said, "I was standing at Braehead bus stop to catch the bus home when a few Scottish guys standing at the bus stop started to abuse me by saying "Your a Paki" and "You have a bomb in your turban." One of the racist gang members then said, "Take the bomb out of your turban". Being shocked at the verbal abuse he replied back to leave him alone. To this the group of gang of men walked away towards the Renfrew's Braehead Shopping Centre. At this point the young Sikh man rang the police and reported the racial incident, to which the police responded that they would send police officers to where he was as soon as possible.
However, the torment of the Lakhivar Singh did not stop here. Minutes later, the group of racist white men came back from the Shopping Centre. The police had not arrived yet. The racist men punched and kicked the young Sikh man, as he lay knocked to the floor. One of the attackers pulled his turban and eye-spectacles off. The young man's Kesh (unshorn hair) tied up on the head had come undone as the attackers continuously punched him.
Thankfully the Shopping Centre security guards heard Lakhivar Singh's calls for help and as soon as they came over the racist gang ran away. The security guards were unable to catch the gang. In the meantime the police arrived and a passer-by who had witnessed the gruesome attack provided information to the police. A police spokeswoman said, "Our inquires into the incident are ongoing."
Lakhivar Singh told the media, "All my family are in Mumbai and they just want me to come home because they think Scotland is no longer safe for me." He added, "I was really enjoying myself here and most people are friendly, but now I am scared to go to work and I just want to go home."
Attacks on members of the Sikh community have been on the rise due largely to the ignorance of some members of the public - who mistake turbaned Sikhs as Muslim radicals as well as the UK's politically-correct policy of lumping Sikhs with the collective tag 'Asian' instead of clearly identifying Muslims as the offenders when needed. Members of the Sikh community are advised to take all necessary precautions when they are out and to report all racial incidents immediately to the local police regardless of how minor or significant one may perceive the incident to be.