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'I hate turban people': Passenger holds Sikh Uber driver at gunpoint in US

Investigators have interviewed the driver, the suspect and another passenger who was in the car

Press Trust of India  |  New York 

Gurjeet Singh
Photo: The Sikh Coalition

A driver was allegedly held at gunpoint by a who said "I hate turban people" and asked racial questions regarding his nationality and his allegiance to the US, media reports said.

The sheriff's office in is investigating the assault on Gurjeet Singh, the driver, who reported the incident to police on January 29, the Washington Post reported.

The advocacy organisation Coalition says that the pointed a gun at the driver and said, "I hate turban people, I hate beard people", the report said.

After meeting with Rock Island County Sheriff on Wednesday the leaders of the organisation expressed frustration, that the has not been arrested since the attack.

Bustos told the Post that he expects to charge the suspect with aggravated assault and perhaps further charges by weeks end after he receives information that the sheriff's office has requested from through a search warrant, it said.

Investigators have interviewed the driver, the suspect and another who was in the car, Bustos said.

He said that the driver picked up the two passengers together in Moline, and began to drive them toward their destination. The male and the driver got into an argument, he said.

The argument was about where peoples loyalties lie. There was an argument over where people were from, he said.

The Coalition said that the male started asking Singh, the driver, a series of questions: What is your status here? Which country do you belong to? Do you serve your country or do you serve our country?

Singh, a legal US resident who does not speak fluent English, said he serves the and India, because his parents live there. Then, Singh said, the put a gun to his head and said he hated turban people, the report said.

men in America, repeatedly mistaken for Muslims because of their appearance, have been the victims of numerous hate crimes including a man murdered immediately after 9/11 by an assailant who said he thought his victim was Arab, and six members of a temple in Wisconsin killed in a mass shooting.

Also, a nationwide million-dollar campaign was launched by Sikhs in the US to spread awareness and address the collective misunderstanding over the minority community amid a spike in hate crimes against them in the country.

The We are Sikhs campaign was launched by the National Campaign (NSC), a non-profit organisation.

First Published: Mon, February 19 2018. 14:13 IST