The Indian Consulate General in New York, US, on Saturday condemned the assault against a Sikh taxi driver at the John F Kennedy International Airport. According to a viral video, the India-origin taxi driver was assaulted by an unidentified man, who knocked off his turban and also used expletives against him. The Consulate General of India in New York termed the incident “deeply disturbing”. The officials informed that it has taken up the matter with the US authorities and even urged them to investigate this “violent” incident.
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.@PMOIndia @MEAIndia @DrSJaishankar @IndianEmbassyUS @NYCMayor @NYCMayorsOffice— India in New York (@IndiainNewYork) January 8, 2022
In an undated 26-second clip, the Sikh man is seen being assaulted outside the airport. The unidentified man who attacked the taxi driver can also be heard allegedly using expletives against the victim. He repeatedly hits and punches him and knocks off his turban. Further details about the Sikh taxi driver or the cause of the incident are not available at the moment.
The incident has led to angry reactions by the India-community members in the US. the National Sikh Campaign said that Sikh person goes about their daily lives only to be senselessly attacked by someone. “ Common road rage between people can escalate when someone who is ignorant of who we are takes their disdain for our turbans and becomes violent,” it added.
Separately, Simran Jeet Singh, author and Director for the Aspen Institute’s Inclusive America Project, said, “For those who aren’t Sikh, I can’t put into words what it means to have your turban knocked off — or to see someone else’s turban knocked off. It’s visceral and gut-wrenching and just so disheartening to witness.”
Meanwhile, it is to mention that this is not the first time that a Sikh taxi driver has been assaulted in the United States. Back in 2019, an India-origin Uber driver was assaulted and racially abused in Washington in a suspected hate crime. The driver told the police that he believes his race promoted the attack. In another incident in 2017, a 25-year-old Sikh cab driver in New York was assaulted and his turban knocked off by drunk passengers.