New Delhi: A case of ‘hate crime’ was registered when a 41-year-old father and an IT professional who makes his living in California, US, was brutally assaulted by five to six men on the night of September 25 who cut his religiously mandated hair with a knife.

The victim later identified as, Maan Singh Khalsa, was driving home when a group of men in car threw beer cans at his vehicle.

Further disclosing the matter, Maan Singh said, “There were around five to six white males in their late 20s to early 30s who started abusing after throwing their beer cans and later, three of them then assaulted me physically.”

In a press statement released by the nation’s largest Sikh civil rights organisation, Sikh Coalition, Khalsa said, “The attackers caused physical injuries and deep harm when they targeted my Sikh faith. I urge a thorough investigation so we can address the tide of violence and bigotry in this country”, he further added.

“Khalsa drove away from the scene but the men followed him and assaulted him through his open car window, knocking off his Sikh turban and hitting his face repeatedly,” according to a statement from The Sikh Coalition.

The Sikh Coalition has also written to the Richmond Police Department and the Contra Costa County district attorney’s office on behalf of Khalsa, urging authorities to conduct a hate crime investigation and prosecution in the case.

Commenting on the matter, Sikh Coalition legal director, Harsimran Kaur, said, “I have urged the concerned authorities to fully investigate this hateful attack on Khalsa and his Sikh identity”. Kaur further said, “The purpose of a hate crime investigation and prosecution is to ensure that our government and communities accurately account for the problem of bias in our society”.

The Sikh Coalition said that in the 15 years that have followed 9/11, Sikhs remain hundreds of times more likely to be targeted in cases of profiling, bigotry and backlash than the average American.