A Sikh professor at ColumbiaUniversity has been allegedly attacked by a group of men who called him “Osama” and “terrorist” in an assault which the police are investigating as a hate crime.
School of International and Public Affairs professor Prabhjot Singh was assaulted on Saturday night while walking in the Harlem neighbourhood near New York.
In an online post, Singh’s friend Simran Jeet Singh, who is a doctoral candidate in religion at Columbia, said the father of one had been “brutally attacked” on the street and had been rushed to the hospital “bloody and bruised, his face swollen from a fractured jaw”.
The young professor could not speak because many of his teeth had been displaced, Jeet Singh said in the post.
“Last night, I received the kind of phone call that everyone dreads: a close friend was hurt, and on his way to the hospital. But the news got worse, as I learned that my friend, Dr Prabhjot Singh, a young Sikh American professor at Columbia University, had been brutally attacked on a public street, the victim of a violent hate crime,” the post said.
While in hospital, Singh told police that his assailants taunted him and beat him, calling him “Osama” and “terrorist” as they pulled at his long beard. He was repeatedly punched in the face and head as he lay on the sidewalk.
Singh had returned from dinner, dropping his wife and one-year-old son at home before going for a walk.
Singh is also a resident physician at a leading New York hospital. “Unfortunately his assailants did not see Prabhjot Singh, the professor, the community health expert or the local doctor.