Attack on Sikh Professor Investigated as Possible Bias Crime

Interview with NPR-Affiliate WNYC regarding hate crime in Harlem, originally aired on 9.23.2013

Police are investigating an alleged attack on a Columbia University assistant professor by a group of 15 to 20 young men on bicycles who made derogatory statements, apparently mistaking him for a Muslim although he is Sikh.

Prabhjot Singh, who was wearing a turban, suffered a fractured jaw in the beating, which took place on 110th Street near Lenox Avenue in Upper Manhattan Saturday evening.

One man pulled at Singh’s beard, and the group kicked him several times in the body and face, according to a spokesman from the New York Police Department.

The victim told police he was approached by a group of 15 to 20 young men on bicycles

Police are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime.

Another Sikh-American walking with Singh was also assaulted, but did not receive serious injuries, according to Simran Jeet Singh, a friend of the professor.

Singh was treated for injuries to his face and released from the hospital the same night.

“I can’t name a Sikh-American I know that hasn’t been the the target of a hate crime, here it happened to be physical,” the friend, Jeet Singh, told WNYC. “I’ve been targeted physically as well, so has most Sikh’s I know.”

There have been no arrests.



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