The apparent racial attack on an elderly Sikh man in Britain was "intolerable" and the British government should ensure the strictest punishment to the guilty, information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari said on Monday.
Speaking on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi, Tewari reacted to the assault on an 80-year-old Sikh man, who was kicked, punched and spat upon by a young woman in Coventry, 150 km from London, last week.
"The Sikh community has contributed a lot to the development of those countries where they have settled, and especially to Britain, where Sikhs are present in fairly large numbers for over a century," Tewari said, when asked for a reaction to the incident.
"Racial behaviour is completely intolerable," Tewari said, adding that if the British government did not act against the guilty person, a "very negative signal (would go out) to not just that community but other minorities too".
Authorities in Britain have arrested a 19-year-old girl for the violent assault on the Sikh man, which left him with a bloodied nose and a black eye.
Video footage of the attack has been circulating on social media and the woman's actions have attracted criticism.