In what is considered to be a hate crime, a Sikh limousine driver was beaten unconscious on a sidewalk in a New York suburb during the weekend by apparently drunken white youths.
At least one person has been arrested and police were on the lookout for two others. The incident occurred in the Richmond area of Queens which has a large immigrant population on Saturday night.
Rajinder Singh Khalsa, 54, suffered multiple cuts, bruises and a broken nose. Speaking from his hospital bed, he said he and his cousin Gurcharan Singh were confronted by the youths who ridiculed their turbans calling them "dirty curtains" and asked them to take them off.
Gurcharan Singh, who owns a restaurant called Tandoori Express, said they had left the car on the street and were walking towards the restaurant where they intended to have tea. But as they were passing by an Italian catering hall, the men, who appeared to be drunk, started using abusive language.
"I told them that it is not a curtain but my turban and a religious symbol," Gurcharan Singh said.