Hate Crime Charges Filed Against Men Who Allegedly Attacked Bay Area Sikh Man

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The Sikh Coalition released these images of Maan Singh Khalsa who was brutally beaten in Richmond on Sept. 25, 2016.

Hate crime charges have been filed against two men who allegedly attacked a Sikh man in Richmond last month, officials announced Friday.

Maan Singh Khalsa was brutally assaulted on Sept. 25, while waiting at a stop light while returning home from his second job.

The assailants allegedly pulled off his turban, repeatedly punched him and cut off his religiously-mandated unshorn hair with a knife.

Two men had been arrested in the crime, but the Sikh Coalition advocated for the hate charges to be filed.

Organization leaders wrote a letter to the Richmond Police Department and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office urging them to take action.

“I trusted the District Attorney’s office to do the right thing and they came through,” said Richmond Mayor Tom Butt in a news release issued by the coalition. “We do not condone this in Richmond and we don’t condone it in America.”

Harsimran Kaur, legal director of the organization said in the news release that the charges will ensure that the “bias-based” attack will be addressed during the prosecution.

“The purpose of prosecuting bias-motivated assaults as hate crimes is not to impose harsher penalties. Instead, the purpose is to mitigate hatred in our society and ensure that we are all free to safely pursue the American dream regardless of our race, ethnicity, or religion.”