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International

Sikh student attacked in UK, police treating it as hate crime

November 27, 2020 05:40 AM

COURTESY HT NOV 27

Sikh student attacked in UK, police treating it as hate crime
Prasun Sonwalkar

prasun.sonwalkar@hindustantimes.com

London : The police in central England county of Shropshire said on Thursday a recent attack on a Sikh school student in Telford by two other students is being treated as a hate crime in an incident that has sparked much concern in the UK’s Sikh community.

A video of the November 13 attack has been widely circulated across social media, prompting calls for action and reviving similar memories among some members of the community. The Charlton School in Telford said it has taken swift and appropriate action, including sanctions.

The West Mercia police said in a statement: “We’re aware of a video circulating on social media of a boy being attacked by two other boys. This is clearly an incredibly distressing incident. We are treating this as a hate crime and with the utmost seriousness.”

Superintendent Jim Baker added: “The boys involved in this incident have been identified and our inquiries are continuing. This also includes joint working between our youth offending team and the school to ensure suitable action is taken.”

“I know the video has caused significant concern amongst our communities. Our inquiries into the motivation around the incident are continuing and we are working with our local communities to provide reassurance,” he said.

Preet Kaur Gill, Labour MP from Birmingham Edgbaston, called the attack “repugnant”. The Sikh Council UK thanked the police for realising the seriousness of the incident and tweeted: “For Sikhs, their kesh (unshorn hair) is sacred. It’s distressing for the entire Sikh community. The impact on the child and family is immeasurable.”

The school said in an online statement: “Charlton School is aware of an incident. A police investigation is ongoing, and we are co-operating fully.

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