SAD condemns attack on elderly Sikh man, asks PM to raise issue

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Chandigarh, Aug 18: The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab and the apex religious body SGPC on Sunday described the attack on an elderly Sikh by a teenage British girl as a shameful example of hate crime and asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up the matter with the UK government at the earliest.

The SAD, in a statement in Chandigarh, also expressed deep concern over the safety of Sikh diaspora in various parts of the world. SAD president and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal said the incident had hurt feelings of the entire Sikh community and the nation and asked the Prime Minister to take up the matter with the British government immediately.

He said the Union government should summon the British High Commissioner and convey to him that the attack had hurt feelings of the Sikh community.

"The attack is unfortunate and horrifying. It has shaken the Sikh community across the world," SAD secretary and spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said. "It is yet another shameful example of hate crime," he said, adding it was distressing that the number of such racial attacks on Sikhs settled abroad had increased manifold.

The SAD secretary said when Manmohan Singh became the Prime Minister there were expectations that he would take up the issue of hate crimes with the concerned governments. "But practically reverse has happened," he said.

Cheema urged the Prime Minister and minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur to take concrete steps in this regard to mitigate problems of the Sikh diaspora. The SGPC said the attack showed the members of the community living abroad were not safe and could be targeted anytime.

The incident was highly unfortunate, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar told PTI in Amritsar. The 19-year-old British girl has been arrested on the charge of assaulting the 80-year-old Sikh on August 10 after a video of the incident went viral online.

PTI

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