San Francisco: An elderly Sikh man was viciously attacked in California, leading to fears among the community that he may have been a victim of hate crime, the media reported. On Wednesday, two teenagers aged 16 and 18, were arrested in connection with the assault on Sahib Singh Natt, 71, in Manteca which took place on Monday morning, reports CNN. The incident caught on a resident’s surveillance camera shows Natt walking around a park, when two men confronted him, kicked him several times and spat on him, police in Manteca said.
In the video, the suspects appear to walk away, and then one of them returns, kicking the man several more times while he is still on the ground, reports ABC News. Hundreds of people gathered on Tuesday night at Greystone Park in Manteca, just feet away from where Natt was beaten. Supporters, community leaders and neighbours of the victim voiced their concerns about the attacks.
It’s not an attack on an individual, it’s an attack on an entire community, said one speaker. Natt was at the community event with his family by his side. His daughter, Rupinder Kaur, told the media that Natt is paralysed on the left side of his body because of previous medical issues and could barely speak.
The assault on Natt was the second recent attack on a member of the Sikh community, reports CNN. On July 31, Surjit Singh Malhi, 50, was attacked as he was putting out political signs in Stanislaus County, 25 miles south of Manteca. Malhi said the two attackers yelled, Go back to your country, and then began beating him.
The Sikh Coalition released a statement on Wednesday for others to remain vigilant. This is the second violent assault of a Sikh man in California’s Central Valley within the last week and we strongly encourage the Sikh sangat in California to remain vigilant.