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Man jailed for hate assault on Sikh in US

A judge in Seattle has sentenced Luis Vazquez to nine months in jail for his hate assault on a Sikh, who was forgiving during the hearing.

india Updated: May 14, 2008 03:06 IST

A judge in Seattle has sentenced a man to nine months in jail for his hate assault on a Sikh, who was forgiving during the hearing.

Luis Vazquez will also have to do 240 hours of community service for attacking Sukhvir Singh, a taxi driver, five months ago.

Singh suffered a brutal, hate-filled attack on the night of November 24, after police directed a drunken Vazquez to his cab.

Vazquez called him an "Iraqi terrorist" and threatened to kill him. Then he attacked Singh from the back seat, putting him in a chokehold, knocking off his turban, biting into his head, and pulling out clumps of his hair.

While asking for a two-year jail term for Vazquez, the prosecutor on Friday noted that Singh had been forgiving of the attack. During the hearing, Singh said that he wanted to offer forgiveness to Vazquez because he did not want his life to be ruined.

Vazquez chose to plead guilty and expressed remorse for the attack.

Many members of the Sikh community spoke at the hearing to express their frustration and anguish on account of such hate filled incidents targeting the young and old Sikhs in the US.

In a press release, Sikh Coalition, a rights group, said the police and prosecutors swung into action only after the community came together in solidarity with the victim in the days Singh lay in a hospital after the attack.