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Sikh boy mocked, attacked for wearing turban in Australia

By Natasha Chaku
March 03, 2016 17:37 IST

In a hate-fuelled attack, a 13-year-old Sikh schoolboy was assaulted, mocked and threatened with being stabbed for wearing a turban while travelling in a bus in Melbourne, Australia.

Harjeet Singh, left, was riding the bus home when two males and a female ringleader -- all believed to be in their late teens assaulted and mocked him.

Harjeet was also allegedly threatened with being stabbed and had his turban pulled in the attack aboard a suburban bus, the Herald Sun reported.

The female demanded to know why Harjeet was wearing a ‘towel’ on his head and twice tried to remove his turban despite the terrified boy trying to get away.

It is alleged that one of the males was also involved and the boy was sworn at.

Harjeet’s mother Rajinder Kaur Gill told the daily, “My son was so scared that he was crying. It’s a horrible thing. I’m just scared if it’s safe for him on the bus.”

“We are worried that it may happen to anyone,” she said of the incident that took place on February 23.

The two males and the female are being sought by police.

Harjeet, who attends DoncasterSecondaryCollege in Melbourne, was sitting in the middle row of the bus when the offenders approached from the back seat.

The ordeal lasted until Eltham when Harjeet got off the bus early with his schoolfriends, also in tears. One of their mothers drove Harjeet home.

“I was so scared. I just froze and when my friends got off the bus I got off with them,” Harjeet said.

“The girl said I had a ‘worthless towel’ on my head,” he said.

“The girl pushed my son's turban with her elbow,” Gill said.

“My son moved from his seat to get further away from them, but they followed him and sat behind him again. This time, the girl pushed him hard and tried to remove his turban again. My son was scared and he asked them to stop but they laughed at him and they said there aren’t many stabbings in Eltham,” she said.

Victoria Police spokesman Paul Turner said police is investigating reports of an assault.

“The investigation is in its infancy and it would be inappropriate to provide further comment at this time,” he said.

Natasha Chaku in Melbourne
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