The United States today condemned the assault on a Sikh taxi driver at the JFK International Airport terming it “deeply disturbing”. The State Department said that diversity makes the US stronger.
“We are deeply disturbed by reports of an apparent attack on a Sikh cab driver at J.F.K. airport, captured on video last week. Our diversity makes the U.S. stronger, & we condemn any form of hate-based violence,” the official Twitter account of the State department for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs posted.
1/2 We are deeply disturbed by reports of an apparent attack on a Sikh cab driver at J.F.K. airport, captured on video last week. Our diversity makes the U.S. stronger, & we condemn any form of hate-based violence.
— State_SCA (@State_SCA) January 9, 2022
Emphasising that no matter where such crimes occur, the State Department said, “We all have a responsibility to hold perpetrators of hate crimes accountable for their actions.”
The response came after the Indian Consulate General in New York urged US authorities to investigate the incident.
An undated 26-second video uploaded on Twitter by Navjot Pal Kaur on January 4, showed a man assaulting the Sikh taxi driver outside the airport.
Ms Kaur said in a tweet that the video was shot by a bystander at the airport.
The person can be heard allegedly using expletives against the victim. He repeatedly hits and punches him and knocks off his turban.
“This video was taken by a bystander at John F Kennedy International Airport. I do not own the rights to this video. But I just wanted to highlight the fact that hatred continues to remain in our society and unfortunately, I’ve seen Sikh cab drivers get assaulted again and again,” Ms Kaur tweeted.
The US State department has said that it will investigate the incident and hold the perpetrators accountable.
“We all have a responsibility to hold perpetrators of hate crimes accountable for their actions, no matter where such crimes occur,” the department said in a tweet.
This is not the first time a Sikh taxi driver has been assaulted in the US.
An Indian-origin Sikh Uber driver was in 2019 assaulted and racially abused in the US state of Washington in a suspected hate crime.
The driver told the police that he believes his race promoted the attack.
In 2017, a 25-year-old Sikh cab driver in New York was assaulted and his turban knocked off by drunk passengers.