After a video in which a Sikh boy is being bullied by two fellow pupils in a London school went viral, police launched a hate crime investigation into the case.
The clip was made on November 13 and was widely shared on the social media. The video shows a boy pushed to the ground and then repeatedly punched and kicked in the head.
A Twitter user posted, "A really sad video of a Sikh boy being bullied in a London school is doing the rounds. I hope the school takes appropriate action. Growing up as a Sikh is not easy. I speak from personal experience. The constant jibes, whether intentional or not, have an impact on the psyche."
He Further added, "The solution lies in parents teaching their kids a simple value - don't bully/mock anyone for looking different - be it religious identity, color, height, whatever. In some Sikh families dark complexion is made fun of - this applies to that too. Let's embrace and respect each other's differences."
Hate crime investigation launched
After the pupils were identified, the West Mercia Police launched a hate crime investigation. The police stated that they were aware that a video was circulated of a boy being attacked by two other boys. This is a hate crime incident and is being treated with utmost seriousness, the police added.
The school authorities also confirmed that the boys were students of their school and stated that "appropriate action" against the alleged perpetrators was already taken.
Birmingham MP Preet Kaur Gill described the alleged attack as "repugnant", adding, "We must send a message that bullies don't win."
The school stated that the authorities were in touch with the parents of all those who were involved. It was added that the school was working closely with the local Sikh community and its leaders at this time.
Boy laughed at after turban came off
According to the audio of the footage, it is evident that the bullies were laughing after the child's turban comes off his head. Sikh Council UK praised police after they announced the incident was being treated as a hate crime.
It should be noted that there have been many incidents of children or people belonging to a particular community being bullied or harassed outside India and such cases raise concerns that the problem doesn't afflict only Sikhs but anyone who looks different from the rest.