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Elderly Sikh man attacked in California

San Francisco, Aug 9 (IANS) An elderly Sikh man was viciously attacked in California, leading to fears among the community that he may have been a victim of hate crime, the media reported.

On Wednesday, two teenagers aged 16 and 18, were arrested in connection with the assault on Sahib Singh Natt, 71, in Manteca which took place on Monday morning, reports CNN.

The older teen is the son of the police chief of Union City.

Surveillance footage from a nearby home released by the Manteca Police Department allegedly shows Tyrone Keith McAllister, son of Union City Police Chief Darryl McAllister, and a 16-year-old boy confronting Natt, who was taking his daily walk Monday morning along Greystone Park on Turquoise Way.

Footage shows two people walk up to Natt at around 6 a.m. when one of the individuals, wearing a dark hoodie and jeans, suddenly kicks him to the ground, police said. The attacker, identified by police as McAllister, and another assailant then walk out of frame, leaving Natt writhing in pain on the ground. The video then shows the suspect charging back and delivering at least three kicks to Natt’s head and upper body before yelling something inaudible and fleeing the scene. One of the two suspects also might have waved a gun in the air, San Francisco police quoted the police as saying.

Hundreds of people gathered on Tuesday night at Greystone Park in Manteca, just feet away from where Natt was beaten.

Supporters, community leaders and neighbours of the victim voiced their concerns about the attacks.

“It’s not an attack on an individual, it’s an attack on an entire community,” said one speaker.

Natt was at the community event with his family by his side. His daughter, Rupinder Kaur, told the media that Natt is paralyzed on the left side of his body because of previous medical issues and could barely speak.

The assault on Natt was the second recent attack on a member of the Sikh community, reports CNN.

On July 31, Surjit Singh Malhi, 50, was attacked as he was putting out political signs in Stanislaus County, 25 miles south of Manteca.

Malhi said the two attackers yelled, “Go back to your country”, and then began beating him.

The Sikh Coalition released a statement on Wednesday for others to remain vigilant.

“This is the second violent assault of a Sikh man in California’s Central Valley within the last week and we strongly encourage the Sikh sangat in California to remain vigilant.”

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