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Yet another Sikh student attacked in US school
Press Trust of India
June 5, 2008


New York:
An American student was taken into custody for allegedly assaulting his Sikh classmate and forcibly removing his patka, the second incident of students from the community being targeted in US schools within a month.

The attacker, a ninth grader, was suspended from Richmond School in Queens suburb of New York, United Sikh, an advocacy group reported without revealing the identities of the two boys.

The victim said the classmate had been bullying him for sometime, asking him why he did not shave and frequently pulling at his 'patka.'

In the incident which occurred on Tuesday, the Sikh student tried to hold on to his 'patka' when his classmate tried to remove it from behind and hit him in the face with keys.

The attacker was taken into custody by police.


Early last month, a 16-year-old student in New Jersey was charged with hate crime after he set afire a Sikh student's patka.

"'It is very disconcerting to learn that the administration at Richmond Hill High School failed to take the reports of bullying seriously,'' remarked Baljit Kaur, United Sikh Awareness Project Coordinator.

''Sikh students being bullied is a well-documented phenomenon stemming from fear, ignorance, and misunderstandings concerning the unique Sikh appearance, particularly in the case of the dastaar, or the Sikh turban.''

Sikhs has been the victims of hate crime in the US after the 9/11 attacks as they are mistaken for Arabs due to their headgear.

Providing information to students and answering questions about the Sikh faith and the reason behind a Sikh's distinctive look would help allay fears, Kaur added.

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