Monday, May 28, 2007
Sikh student's hair forcibly cut in NY
WASHINGTON: A commonplace schoolboys' fracas acquired an ugly communal hue in New York City when two Pakistani students forcibly cut the hair of a Sikh boy following an altercation.

The incident happened at the Newton High School in Queens, a New York City borough that has a large population from the sub-continent.

According to local news reports, the assault took place in a school bathroom after the students began insulting each others mothers and the exchange escalated.

The Pakistanis allegedly grabbed the victim, 15, removed his turban, and cut his hair. The Sikh faith requires followers not to cut hair.

Umair Ahmed, 17, and another unnamed Pakistani boy of 15 were arrested by the NYPD and face charges of unlawful imprisonment, coercion, menacing and aggravated harassment. The name of the victim was not released.

Another student who provided the scissors but didn't take part in the attack at Newton HS was also arrested.

One report attributed to police chief Raymond Kelly said the Sikh boy had tried to apologize for the altercation but Umair would only settle for a cutting his hair.

A Department of Education spokeswoman told the New York Sun that the incident was ''horrifying'' and said the school will offer counselling to the victim.

The Sikh rights group United Sikhs, which is active in monitoring hate crime against Sikhs, did not return calls seeking comment.

According to the rights group Sikh Coalition, the police said the Sikh student was "cowering in the corner" as his hair was forcibly cut. The boy's hair, which used to be below his waist, is now at shoulder level. The boy's mother and the boy are both very distressed, the Coalition said in a statement.

However, the Coalition commended the Hate Crimes Taskforce of the New York City Police Department for its prompt investigation of this matter. It is working with its community partners in New York City to determine an appropriate response to this horrible incident, the Coalition said. It will also independently review why Queens County prosecutors declined to prosecute two other students who were arrested as a result of the incident, the statement said.

New York City has a large sub-continental population (in the region of 250,000), including many Sikhs. Indians and Pakistanis typically share a cordial and even warm relationship, particularly those who speak a common Punjabi language, and there has rarely been any tension between the two communities.

However, the incident also serves to underscore the increasingly negative and extremist image of Pakistani youth in the west, much to the dismay of the liberal and professional Pakistani class.

Earlier this week, a Pakistani sophomore student at the University of Texas in Dallas was convicted of a weapons charge after prosecutors said he took part in military training for jihad.

There have been several such cases in the US where young Pakistanis have been prosecuted for jihadist activity, even as the government of Pakistan has exerted itself to send students abroad in an effort to remain globally engaged and competitive.

For the above news source, click here

Also click here, to see the press conference video where you can see the accussed sister barging through and interrupting the press conferency by trying to give "her" side of story.

First it was a week of news of some "baba" from a so called "Dera Secha Sauda" trying to potray himself as Guru Gobind Singh Ji, which caused major unrest in Punjab.

Now this...

Why can't we have a world where we can live peacefully without all this dramas... We as human should learn how to tolerate and respect each other beliefs and religion. Only then we wont see all this kind of problems arising..

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posted by Jagjit Kaur at 10:04 AM | Permalink |


  • At May 29, 2007 at 3:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous

    Why can't we have a world where we can live peacefully without all this dramas?
    Because not everyone thinks,behave and act like you...LOL!
    btw...its Kalyug...learn to live with it...or there is alway an option of migrating to another planet in the solar system(quite expensive tho) or the cheapest option is to commit suicide!LOL

    hope u had some good laugh, after all those serious post!

  • At May 29, 2007 at 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous

    :D commiting suicide.. hahahahah are you actually for real? this world is bad enough.. what makes you think by committing suicide a person is gonna get a better life? its gonna be worst.. neither u will be accepted here nor there ;)however the migrating idea is not bad ;)

    anyway virji/phenji.. 3.40am in the morn is either for sleeping or doin nitnem ;)