(SANTA CLARA, CA – 12/18/2019) – The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) today expressed solidarity with the Sikh community after 57-year-old Baljeet Singh Sidhu was attacked near his home in Richmond on Sunday morning.
CAIR-SFBA also called on law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for the attack.
Early Sunday, after Sidhu's taxi driving shift ended, the alleged attacker approached him and asked for a lighter. He said he did not have one and the attacker left. He came back a second time saying he had only $5 and needed a ride. Sidhu told him his shift was over and the alleged assailant left but came back and this time reportedly attacked Sidhu with a barbecue lid and choked him.
Sidhu was left with cuts, bumps and bruises. Friends and family of the victim say they believe it to be a hate crime and that he was singled out because of his Sikh turban and appearance.
In a statement, Executive Director of CAIR-SFBA, Zahra Billoo said:
“We condemn this attack and express our solidarity with the Sikh community. Mr. Sidhu and his loved ones are in our prayers. We urge Richmond Police Department to investigate a possible bias motive for this incident.”
CAIR-SFBA is an office of CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR-SFBA Communications Coordinator Zoha Raza, 408.418.6902, firstname.lastname@example.org