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US condemns attack on Sikh driver in New York, assures action

NEW YORK, Jan 9: The US State Department said on Sunday that it will investigate the incident of a Sikh cab driver being assaulted at the JFK International Airport last week by an unidentified man.

The Indian Consulate in New York had on Saturday urged the US authorities to investigate the incident. The incident came to its notice after a video appeared on Twitter. “The assault against a Sikh taxi driver in New York is deeply disturbing. We have taken up the matter with US authorities and urged them to investigate this violent incident,” the Indian Consulate tweeted.

The US State Department's Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) said in a tweet, "We are deeply disturbed by reports of an apparent attack on a Sikh cab driver at JFK airport, captured on video last week. Our diversity makes the US stronger & we condemn any form of hate-based violence. We all have a responsibility to hold perpetrators of hate crimes accountable for their actions, no matter where the such crimes occur."

A video uploaded on Twitter by one Navjot Pal Kaur on January 4 shows the man assaulting the Sikh taxi driver at the airport. Ms Kaur said in a tweet that the video was shot by a bystander. The assailant is seen repeatedly hitting and punching his victim.

"This video was taken by a bystander at John F Kennedy International Airport. I do not own the rights to this video. But I just wanted to highlight the fact that hatred continues to remain in our society and unfortunately, I've seen Sikh cab drivers get assaulted again and again," Ms Kaur tweeted.

Hate crimes against races and communities have been a part of American culture long since. A few instances of abuse of Sikhs have been reported in recent years. A Sikh Uber driver was racially abused and strangled by a passenger in the coastal city of Bellingham, Washington, on December 5, 2019. In 2017, a 25-year-old Sikh cab driver was attacked in New York.

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