An 18-year-old Sikh boy has spoken of his ordeal after he was attacked by three violent hooded thugs in Ealing on Tuesday evening.
The attack, which occurred at approximately 7.10 pm on Windmill Road, left the teenager bloodied with a facial injury.
The teenager, who wished to remain anonymous, told Asian Voice, “It makes me annoyed that it happened because it was preventable. I feel like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I usually would have never been there.”
The boy was in a taxi heading towards Ealing Broadway when his friend told him he wouldn’t be able to meet him. The taxi driver refused to take him home and dropped him by a closed-off area on Niagara Avenue.
The boy was then chased down the road by an unknown suspect but was cornered by two more thugs who proceeded to pull his Joorah (topknot of long, uncut hair kept by Sikhs) and beat him up. They took his phone and schoolwork, left him there, and ran.
After being denied help from a nearby Premiere Convenience Store, the teenager was saved by a Tesco delivery driver who called the police and ambulance service after seeing the bloodied boy run out onto the main road.
The teenager believes the attack was not racially motivated. He said, “No, I don’t think it had much to do with racism, but I do think the attackers were opportunistic in using my Joorah to hurt me. But I don’t think it’s the reason they attacked me.”
According to data from the Office for National Statistics, between June 2016 and March 2020, robbery increased by 16 per cent in London compared to 6 per cent across England.
The 18-year-old believes “attacks are becoming more and more common in London” and feels it has become unsafe for people to be outside and alone in the dark.
Kiran Panesar, the mother of two young Sikh boys who keep their hair in a Joorah, feels a sense of shock at how the thugs attacked the teenager and pulled his Joorah.
“It’s worrying for me as a mother when you hear about things like this happening in our community. I have two young boys who both have a Joorah and now I’m left concerned about something like that happening to them,” she told the newsweekly.
“It may not have been a racial attack but at the same time, a young Sikh boy had his Joorah used against him in a violent attack. To a Sikh boy or man, their hair is their pride and in this case, the boy’s hair was disrespected and that is wrong. Very wrong,” she added.
There have been no arrests and enquiries are ongoing.