London: A 21-year-old Indian shop assistant was physically and racially attacked by a group of five men leaving him with a broken jaw after he tried to stop them from misbehaving with a young woman in Edinburgh in UK, in what police described as ‘an appalling assault.’
Pankaj Rawat, who was working with a city clothes shop, was beaten up on Waverley Bridge by the thugs calling him an ‘Indian b******’, ‘Edinburgh Evening News’ reported.
He was walking home on Saturday after a night out when he intervened to protect the woman, aged around 20, it said, adding the Indian faced a volley of racial abuse before being punched to the ground and hit repeatedly by the attackers.
“I’d been out for a friend’s party at Mood and was walking back to my home in Tollcross with another friend. As we were crossing Waverley Bridge, I saw two Scottish men shouting at a woman. One of them was pushing her and trying to kiss her, and she was shouting for help,” Rawat was quoted as saying by the paper.
“I told them to leave her alone or I would call the police. The man who was pushing the woman came over to me and asked where I was from. I told him I was from India and he started shouting ‘b***** Indian b******’ at me,” he said.
Rawat said he told the man that he did not want any problems, but he could not do that to a woman. “He kept making racial comments then he punched me on the side of the cheek. He punched me a second time and I fell to the ground.”
“The other man with him came over and both of them started kicking me on the face as I was on the ground. Another three men also stood around me so my friend couldn’t see what was happening,” he said.
Rawat, who moved from India to Edinburgh 18 months ago, was rushed to hospital, where he had a metal plate fitted to his fractured jaw, the report said. After the incident, Rawat lost his job after his bosses were unable to give him four weeks’ off to recover from his injuries.
Police have sought help in tracing the five men, who fled after the assault at around 3:40 am local time.
Rawat said he was released from the hospital on Monday and he was still in lot of pain. “I have painkillers to take and I need to stay on a liquid diet. I lost my job, though, because they weren’t able to give me the month off.”
“It was totally a racist attack because they kept asking where I was from and shouting racist abuse. I came to Scotland last year and I’ve had people calling me a ‘Paki’, but this is the first time I’ve been assaulted,” he was quoted as saying.
A police spokesman said this was ‘an appalling assault’ against the victim for no reason other than his race and his efforts to come to a young woman’s assistance. “We are keen to speak to anyone who was on or around Waverley Bridge at about 3:40 am and may have witnessed the assault.”