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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Oz couple jailed for racially abusing Sikh taxi driver

PTI  Melbourne , July 17, 2013
First Published: 17:43 IST(17/7/2013) | Last Updated: 17:45 IST(17/7/2013)

A couple has been sentenced by an Australian court to nine months in jail for a racially motivated attack in which a Sikh taxi driver’s turban was ripped off.

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Angeline Kim Sollitt, 44, and Michael John Arbouin, 40, were handed down the nine-month prison-term for the “unprovoked” and “malicious” attack on taxi driver Jagroop Singh, NT News reported.

“The turban is the crowning glory of the Sikhs. For Sikhs, the head and the turban are sacred, they must not be touched or insulted in any way,” judge Stephen Southwood said.

The report said Sollitt began verbally abusing Singh when he picked her up with four others at the Dinah Beach Yacht Club in October last year.

“You are in Australia, mate, this is not your country. If you want to live in Australia, take this off,” Sollitt had told Singh, referring to his turban.

He kept on driving, but did later pull over when Sollitt got out and yelled, “grab his turban, rip it off”, before she ran to Singh and tried to remove it, the report said. She pulled it off, leaving Singh dishevelled.

He attempted to radio in for help before Arbouin threw him to the ground. Sollitt then punched him in the face.

Arbouin then said, “You see what happens with your turban? Now I’m going to rip your hair off.”
The police arrived soon after to take control of the situation.

Commenting on the incident, Singh said, “The turban is a symbol of faith. I only care that these people insulted my religion.”

 

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