A group of Sikh men in Sydney claimed that they were victims of a hate crime after the car they were travelling in was attacked last Sunday.
According to law enforcement authorities, tensions have been rising between the Sikh community and supporters of the Indian government ever since the Sikh-led protests against the Centre’s contentious new agriculture laws at Delhi’s borders.
CCTV footage of the incident shows a group of unidentified men smashing the car with baseball bats and hammers while the Sikh men were still seated inside, Australia’s 7news reported.
While the victims were able to escape without any major injuries, the windscreen of their car was smashed into pieces and the panelling was also severely damaged, according to the 7News report. The incident took place last week at Harris Park in Sydney’s West, where police say hate crimes have been on the rise of late.
“They bashed the car from every side,” one of the victims told the Australian news channel. “Anyone could get killed.” The attack resulted in damages of over $10,000, 7News reported.
Another video shared a few weeks ago showed a Sikh man attempting to flee from a group of “thugs” attacking him in the middle of a street.
Several restaurants and temples in Sydney’s west area have claimed that they were caught in the political crossfire. Instances of violence and vandalism have been on the rise. Local authorities have approached community leaders to try and mediate between the two groups.
“We all want this to be resolved peacefully. Don’t fight with each other. It is like Indian is fighting with Indian,” Kamal Singh, a resident of Little India, told the news channel.
“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. But police are still uncertain about the identity of the attackers who had pursued the Sikh men last Sunday.