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Community Voice

June 07, 2005

Jeth 24, 537 Nanakshahi

NY Sikh Student Assaulted on School Grounds: After Being Called a 'terrorist'

Richmond Hill, NY - Davinder Singh, a 15-year-old student of Bayside High School, was assaulted, called a 'terrorist' and threats to kill made against him and his family by a classmate's father on school grounds on June 1. Davinder Singh continues to face the trauma as his request to be moved to another class is not met by the school and the perpetrator has not been charged by police almost a week after the incident was reported to them. Davinder Singh' s family has requested UNITED SIKHS to liaise with the school and police to ensure that justice is done and Davinder Singh and his family are assured of their safety.

"UNITED SIKHS will be setting up a meeting between Davinder's family and the police to ensure that the threats to Davinder Singh's family are taken seriously," said Manwinder Singh, UNITED SIKHS programme co-ordinator for International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy (ICHRA).

This unprovoked incident has left Davinder Singh perplexed and fearful for his safety and that of his family. Davinder Singh narrated the incident to Manwinder Singh and said that a classmate, for unknown reasons, had harassed him in two incidents in the past 2 months. The details of the case according to Davinder Singh are as follows:
1. Approximately 2 months ago, Davinder Singh and his mother were leaving the school grounds when, for no apparent reason, a classmate of Davinder Singh rudely gestured to him and his mother using the middle finger. Davinder Singh ignored the incident, which had occurred for no apparent reason.

2. Approximately 3 weeks ago, this same classmate confronted Davinder Singh and threatened saying that Davinder Singh "should get a beating" along with other provoking statements. Davinder Singh again dismissed the comments and avoided an altercation.

3. On Wednesday, June 1st, Davinder Singh, with this same classmate nearby, exited the school building. The father of that classmate exited his vehicle and confronted Davinder Singh. The classmate's father challenged Davinder Singh to a fight without any provocation and threatened to shoot Davinder and his family. Davinder did not respond to the provocation. The classmate's father repeated his challenge to Davinder Singh for a fight and called Davinder Singh a "terrorist". Again, Davinder Singh did not respond to the provocation. Finally, the classmate's father struck Davinder Singh across the face with his fist. Upon doing so, security guards, having seen the assault, confronted the clasmate's father, wrestled him to the ground and stopped the assault. Even upon being restrained, the father told Davinder Singh that if arrested, he would emerge from custody to shoot him and his family.
If you or anyone you know has been a victim of a bias incident, discrimination or harassment, please contact UNITED SIKHS toll-free at: 1-888-243-1690 or e-mail us at: contact@unitedsikhs.org

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