A 29-year-old Indo-Canadian Sikh was viciously assaulted by four men in Canada in an alleged racially motivated attack, drawing strong condemnation from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Supninder Singh Khehra, an Indian citizen from Patiala and a resident of the Toronto suburb of Brampton, was verbally abused and beaten by a group of men who seemed to be drunk who targeted him because of his brown skin and turban.
Khehra who is still recovering, said he was out with friends in Quebec City after dark and trying to hail a cab when a car full of men approached and started shouting at him in French, swearing and pointing at his turban, CTV reported online.
“I was punched in the eye and fell to the ground, where I was kicked repeatedly. It was all because of my race, my colour and the headgear I was wearing,” he said.
He said his turban “went flying off.”
“I’m really worried about the safety and wellbeing of young kids of my community who wear turbans,” Khehra added.
The incident has been condemned by Trudeau while he was speaking to reporters in Washington, where he was attending the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by US President Barack Obama.
Trudeau was quoted as saying that such “hateful acts” had “no place in Canada”. He said, “We stand clearly against the kind of discrimination and intolerance that represents.”
Trudeau had a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the summit in Washington.
Jaskaran Sandhu, a director of the World Sikh Organisation Canada, said he believes the men should be charged.
He added he is “positive that the Canadian society will come together and say that this is completely against the fabric of this country.”
Two men were arrested after the incident. One was let go without a charge, police said.
The other, a 22-year-old, faces charges of assault and uttering threats to a police officer. They said they are still investigating and more charges are possible.