SYDNEY police have circulated CCTV images of a Sikh having a turban ripped from his head while travelling on a public bus after he complained officers did not take the incident seriously.
Inderjeet Singh Dhaliwal said he was distraught when two young men stole his turban - of great religious significance for Sikhs - at Seven Hills as he travelled to work.
The men, who had possibly been drinking, ran off the bus, leaving an embarrassed Mr Dhaliwal to cover his head with a piece of cloth while another passenger laughed.
Mr Dhaliwal reported the attack immediately, but said police did not comprehend the religious significance of the turban or how traumatised he was.
"They said: 'It is not an assault - it is a minor theft,''' he said. "They asked how much the turban was worth.
"I was so disheartened when they talked to me.''
He said police had only taken the March 31 incident seriously after community groups raised the matter with his local MP, Nathan Rees, who in turn wrote to the minister.
Police had subsequently asked him to make a formal statement. "They said they had upgraded it from a theft to an assault or a race hate crime,'' Mr Dhaliwal said.
Police told him CCTV footage was being circulated in a bid to identify the young men.
However, the quality of the footage from the bus-mounted cameras - introduced to stop such attacks - is poor and has so far yielded little.
Mr Dhaliwal said he had also received a letter from Ministry for Police director general Les Tree, assuring him the matter was receiving attention. [Link]
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