Tensions have grown between Sikhs and supporters of the Modi government in Western Sydney
NEW DELHI — Sikh expatriates in Australia have recently been targeted by people believed to be the supporters of Bharatiya Janata Party, according to a report published in 7News.
The report says that a group of Sikh men were attacked by thugs because they were wearing turbans and the attackers smashed up their car with bats and hammers while they were still inside.
Harrowing CCTV footage shows the men fleeing after the attack.
The incident happened on Sunday (February 28) at Harris Park in Sydney’s west, an area where racial tensions are simmering, according to police.
This was the second such incident. Weeks ago, another video surfaced which showed a Sikh trader wearing a hi-vis vest fleeing as he is attacked by a group of people on the street.
“They bashed all the car from every side,” a victim, who did not want to be named, told 7NEWS.
“Anyone could get killed.”
Tensions have grown between Sikhs and supporters of the Modi government in Western Sydney, so much so that senior police officials have met community leaders appealing for calm.
The anger is understood to be fuelled by farmers’ protests over the controversial farm laws back home.
For nearly three months, Sikh farmers have camped at the borders of New Delhi in a rebellion against the government. The protesters seek to repeal the farm laws, passed by Modi’s BJP government, immediately stressing that the new laws are meant to benefit chosen few corporates and will cut profit of the farmers.
Some restaurants along the popular “Little India” strip in Sydney’s west claim they have been caught in the political crossfire.
“We all want this to be resolved peacefully. Don’t fight with each other. It is like Indian is fighting Indian,” said Kamal Singh from the Little India Australia Association.
Amar Singh, from Turbans 4 Australia, said his temple has been targeted.
“This seems to be going up and up every day,” he told 7NEWS.
Police are investigating whether the incident was a result of racial and political tension.
“It is a small minority. But my message to them is under no circumstances will the NSW Police tolerate it,” Assistant Police Commissioner Peter Thurtell said.
The attackers still haven’t been identified.