Fury Over Racial Attack

July 11, 2007

Author: Julia Kennard

Source: Whitehorse Leader


A BURWOOD Sikh was punched so hard his turban was knocked off just days after his community called for religious daggers 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 on Saturday morning.

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, because when he punched me my turban came off,'' 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''.