Posted by: Singh Is King | Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sikh Attacked In Blackburn

australia.jpg  A Sikh was punched so hard his turban was knocked off just days after his community called for Kirpans to be allowed in schools. Diljot Sidhu, a member of the Blackburn Sikh temple, said he was assaulted while waiting for a train at Blackburn station.

The assault, which Mr Sidhu believes was racially motivated, comes after members of the Victorian Multicultural Commission  lobbied a State Government inquiry  to allow baptised Sikh students to carry kirpans, which are up to 15cm long.

Mr Sidhu said he was approached by two drunk men at the station who asked whether he or his friends carried a kirpan.

After threatening to call police, Mr Sidhu, who does not carry a kirpan, said the men followed him on to the train, before one punched him in the head.

“The punch was hard. What saved me was my turban,” Mr Sidhu said.

Det Sen-Constable David Twaits from the Police Transit Unit confirmed the incident had been reported and would review security footage from the train and  station.

The Sikh community has condemned  the attack as “unacceptable”.

Blackburn Sikh temple interfaith co-ordinator, Gurdarshan Singh Gill, said: “People think if we are carrying the kirpan we are all terrorists.

“We are not.

“We already experience harassment and bullying, but we tolerate all of that. In none of these cases has anyone used the kirpan because it is not intended for harm.”

Mr Gill offered to make a public presentation to explain the Sikh identity and create awareness.

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission chief executive Dr Helen Szoke said attacks motivated by racial or religious hatred were “unacceptable and must not be tolerated”.

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