Cops gherao Sikh man after false alarm

NEW YORK: In a case of alleged racial profiling in the US, the police surrounded a Sikh man carrying a kirpan after getting calls about an apparent Muslim walking around a shopping centre with a “sword”.

editorial@tribune.com

New York, September 22

In a case of alleged racial profiling in the US, the police surrounded a Sikh man carrying a kirpan after getting calls about an apparent Muslim walking around a shopping centre with a “sword”.

Harpreet Singh Khalsa, 33, said he was the victim of racial profiling in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, but the police said those who called in their concerns did the right thing.

The police in Bethlehem Township, Northampton County, received multiple calls about an apparent “Muslim man” walking around the Bethlehem Square Shopping Center with a “large knife” or “sword”. Multiple officers responded to find Khalsa sitting inside a van parked in the fire lane. “The cops surrounded me and told me to put my hands on my head,” Khalsa said.

Khalsa, visiting from Maryland, was not carrying a large knife or sword. He was wearing a kirpan — one of the five articles of the Sikh faith.

Khalsa said he was scared having so many officers around him. “Embarrassed, humiliated, ashamed, for even bothering to come to Bethlehem,” Khalsa said. Given recent attacks in New York and Minnesota, officers said people were on higher alert. — PTI

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