In an apparent hate crime, a 21-year-old Sikhs indian student attacked Canadian According to media reports, a group of unidentified men ripped off his hood and dragged him across the sidewalk by his hair.
Gagandeep Singh was attacked on his way home Friday night, CTV News reported.
MP Mohini Singh said she heard about the attack shortly after and went to visit Gagandeep.
“When I saw him, I was terrified. He could only speak in a soft tone, and he couldn’t open his mouth,” she told the news channel.
She said the young man’s eyes were swollen shut and he was clearly in great pain.
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The councilor said she was told Gagandeep was returning home from grocery shopping at about 10.30pm when he met 12 to 15 other youths on the bus. It was St. Patrick’s Day, and Mohini Singh said there was a rowdy crowd on the bus, throwing wigs around.
“They harassed him, threw wigs at him. He told them not to disturb him or he would call the police and they continued to harass him,” she said.
Gagandeep got out of the car.
“They got off behind him and waited for the bus to leave, then they swarmed him, punched him in the face, punched his ribs, arms and legs, then grabbed his hood, pulled his hair, dragged him, said Mohini Singh, adding that when they left Gagandeep in a pile of “dirty snow” on the side of the road, they took the headscarves with them.
“Taking his hijab was the worst, it felt like they were keeping it as a trophy.”
After waking up, Gagandeep called friends who rushed to the scene and dialed 911.
Mohini Singh said Gagandeep’s friends and fellow international students were shocked and terrified by the attack, which prompted them to gather at the bus station on Sunday to express their sense of safety in the community.
The lawmaker said the fact that Gangandeep is a Sikh and originally from India “was definitely” a factor in the attack.
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“I fully believe this is racism and it should be treated as such. It should be viewed through the lens of a hate crime. It’s wrong on so many levels. It’s unacceptable anywhere – in Kelowna, there is no anywhere,” she said.
“It’s intolerable, it’s absolutely disgusting.”
Kelowna RCMP confirmed in a statement that they were investigating a person who was “assaulted and beaten from behind” by a group of people at a bus stop on Friday night, and that responding officers found the victim “lying on the ground.” No details were given about the injuries, but authorities said the victim was taken to hospital by paramedics.
“The Kelowna RCMP take this matter very seriously and are concerned that this type of crime is happening in our city,” spokesman Constable Mike Della-Paulella said.
“This attack is a top priority for our investigators.”