Sikh Man Testifies in Assault Case in Queens

November 15, 2005

Source: New York Daily News

On November 15, 2005 the New York Daily News reported, "A Queens man took the stand to tell how he was viciously punched and kicked in the face by a group of men who made fun of his Sikh religion. 'I was punched two to three times... I was feeling the earth was moving around,' said Rajinder Singh Khalsa, 54, who identified four of five defendants on trial in the July 2004 assault.

Khalsa, who suffered a broken nose, fractured eye socket, blurred vision and other injuries, also identified himself in photos showing his graphic injuries.

'My nose was crushed, all the bones, I could not breath,' he said.

The assault started after several men who had been attending a christening at a catering hall next to an Indian restaurant made fun of the turban worn by Khalsa's cousin Gurcharan Singh.

One man called the turban a 'dirty curtain,' Khalsa said. 'I told him this is not a dirty curtain,' said Khalsa, who took the stand before Queens Supreme Court Justice Seymour Rotker, who is trying the case without a jury. 'I said the turban is a symbol of our religion so we wear it'... If convicted, the men face up to 15 years for assault as a hate crime."