A video purportedly showing a Sikh man being attacked by a group on a crowded street in Birmingham has gone viral on the internet, prompting police to launch a probe.
In a statement, West Midlands Police said the video appeared to have been first uploaded at least six months ago. They added the motivation behind the attack remained unclear. A section of netizens, however, found religious and racial undertones in the attack.
The video, titled 'Singh Brutally Beaten in Birmingham', was posted online on the 'Daily Sikh Updates' Facebook site. It shows a Sikh man -- yet to be identified -- desperately trying to protect himself as a man attacks him. Then after sometime, a group of men could be seen attacking the Sikh man who tries to fight them off. During the entire episode, a crowd stands as a mere spectator.
Video:Crowd looks on while man is being brutally beaten in Birmingham
Police have urged the victim to come forward and identify himself.
Detective chief inspector Stuart Bill said: "We are aware of this video which, for some reason, is only being widely shared now. This assault could have taken place any time before the video was uploaded and we are currently working to establish if we have any existing crime reports which correspond with what happened."
Birmingham, UK's second-largest city, has a large population of Indian-origin people.
Bill added: "There are suggestions on social media that the person being assaulted was attacked because of his religion. However, we are unsure where that allegation has come from as the video itself offers no direct evidence of that being the case."
Police said while the circumstances around the video remained unclear, they urged people to remain calm and not to jump to conclusions.
In a release, the Punjab Chief Minster's Office said CM Parkash Singh Badal "strongly condemned the totally unprovoked assault on members of the Sikh community by some unruly elements in Birmingham (UK)".
The CM described the attack as "inhuman, brutal and extremely worrying" and asked Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi to take up the matter "with his counterpart in the UK", the release said.