An elderly Sikh man suffered a broken nose and severe bruising after falling victim to an early morning attack in Queens on Sunday.
Nirmal Singh, 70, was on his way to the Sikh Cultural Society when someone reportedly approached him from behind and punched him in the face. He was left bleeding on the ground.
Reports claimed that the incident occurred on 95th Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard in Richmond Hill at around 7 a.m. Gurinder Singh, a passerby, saw Singh moments after the attack.
“He was bleeding, he was worried, his eyes were bloodshot red,” Gurinder told ABC7.
Singh, who is visiting the U.S. from Canada, said that he has only been in New York for two weeks.
“Any attack in the name of just because you look different is an attack against everybody, not just that person, and it’s got to stop,” Harpreet Singh Toor, who translated for Singh, told CBS2.
Toor serves as the Sikh Cultural Society’s public policy chairman. He said they “see attacks on minorities every day.”
Members of the Sikh community are reportedly targeted often for their appearance. “People come at us a certain way because of the way we look,” community activist Japneet Singh told ABC7.
In January, a Sikh taxi driver was allegedly beaten up and told, “You turban guy, go back to your country” at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
In February, a group of students at Whiteland Community High School in Indiana allegedly knocked a Sikh classmate’s turban from his head while filming. He was then physically assaulted and verbally abused with racist remarks.
The attack against Singh is being investigated as a hate crime. Human Rights Commissioner Gurdev Singh Kang called on Mayor Eric Adams and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell to look into the case.
“Our uncles, our parents, they’re coming to pray and now they’re going to feel scared because they don’t know who is going to be victimized on [sic] that kind of situation,” he told CBS2.
No arrests have been made as of press time.