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Rediff.com  » News » Edinburgh: Sikh teenager lied about racist attack to cut hair

Edinburgh: Sikh teenager lied about racist attack to cut hair

Last updated on: December 26, 2006 17:35 IST

The 15-year-old Sikh boy, who claimed he was a victim of a racist attack in Edinburgh last month, had allegedly made up the story after cutting his hair.

Sikh community leaders on Monday called for "compassion" for the teenager who falsely claimed he was the victim of a racist attack. Hundreds of people attended a vigil after the boy claimed four white thugs had cut off his hair -- a deeply offensive act for the Sikh faith.

The alleged attack caused widespread outrage across Scotland when it was reported last month. On Monday, the Sikh community in Edinburgh appealed for understanding for the teenager.

In a statement, thanking the police and supporters for their actions, the Edinburgh Sikh Gurdwara Committee said the boy, who has not been named, was clearly anguished.

"It is obvious the boy has been suffering deep anguish and a crisis of faith, which has resulted in him harming himself," the statement said.

"We take a compassionate view and at the same time acknowledge the challenges our youth, and not just Sikh youth, are facing in society at large. We take this opportunity to ensure our young people feel able to discuss difficult matters on life and faith in a supportive environment," the statement said.

The youngster had claimed that four thugs hacked off his hair in a deliberately insulting racist attack. The top UK Sikh religious institution Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee had even raised the matter with the prime minister of India.

After Monday's revelation, police said no further action would be taken against the Sikh teenager. He had cut his own hair and, to back up his story, he had even punched himself in the face.

A police source told a Scottish paper, the teenager was having personal problems and difficulties in coming to terms with the differing demands of his faith and western society.

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