Indian-origin Sikh taxi driver assaulted, called 'Taliban' in UK

It was horrible, really frightening, I will never work the nightshift again. I'm still very scared, the man told the BBC.

Published: 22nd September 2020 05:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd September 2020 05:48 PM   |  A+A-

Sikh boy, Sikhism

Representational image


LONDON: An India-born Sikh taxi driver was subjected to verbal and physical abuse by passengers he drove from a casino in the city of Reading in south-east England, prompting the UK police force to launch an investigation.

Vaneet Singh, 41, said that a group of four men slapped and shoved him, and asked "are you Taliban" after he picked them up from the Grosvenor Casino in Reading, Berkshire, in the early hours of Sunday.

One of the four also tried to remove his turban.

"It was horrible, really frightening, I will never work the nightshift again. I'm still very scared," he told the BBC.

Thames Valley Police are appealing for witnesses as they investigate the report of an assault.

Singh, who worked as a music teacher at a school in Slough, Berkshire, turned to taxi driving after his teaching job was stalled during the coronavirus pandemic.

The musician, who lives in Tilehurst with his wife and three children, said he has been left shaken up by the assault and will be avoiding night shifts.

"It's very bad experience. It's my religion so I respect my turban," he said.

One of the four passengers, all described as white, pulled at his turban as he was driving and slapped him on the head, while others kicked and punched the back of the driver's seat.

He says he tried to explain the religious significance of the turban to them and asked them not to touch it.

He recalled the passengers being well behaved at the start of the journey but they "totally changed" as the ride went on.

Singh, who is suffering from aches and pains since the incident, is convinced the attack was of a racist nature and believes he was a victim of hate crime.

Thames Valley Police are yet to confirm their line of inquiry in the assault case.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp