Sikh prof breaks jaw in hate attack

Sikh prof breaks jaw in hate attack

A Columbia University professor, who is Sikh, said he was overwhelmed by the support he received since being attacked by a group of young men who called him "Osama" and a "terrorist".

Dr Prabjhot Singh, 31, said on Monday that he is glad his injuries, including a fractured lower jaw, are not worse.

The attack occurred at around 8pm last Saturday in upper Manhattan. He was walking with a friend after dropping off his toddler and his wife at the family's apartment when he was approached by a group of 12 or 15 young men, AP reported.

Dr Singh said that just before the attack, he heard someone yell: "Terrorist, Osama, get him," reported The New York Times. One of the men, believed to be between the ages 15 and 20, yanked his beard as the assault began.

"I started running," Dr Singh said. But the assailants were on bicycles, the police said, and easily caught him and his companion, a fellow Sikh.

The group punched both men but "they mostly focused around me", Dr Singh said.

He fell to the ground and felt kicks and punches to his body and face. The assault ended when pedestrians intervened.

A man shouted at the young men to leave him alone, Dr Singh said, and a nurse who lived across the street came to his aid.

He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and released on Sunday.

The New York Police Department's hate crime task force is investigating the crime as a possible bias attack. Surveillance video released by police shows about a dozen men on bicycles circling around the area where the attack occurred.

Police said Dr Singh, an associate professor of International and Public Affairs, was punched and kicked six times.

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