Dr. Prabhjot Singh, a professor in Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, was walking along 110th Street near Lenox Avenue Saturday night when a group of at least 20 males rode up on bikes and began physically assaulting him while shouting “terrorist” and “get Osama.” Singh, a Sikh who wears a long beard and a turban, had just dropped off his wife and one-year-old son at home before going out for a walk.

After the attack, he described being punched repeatedly and then falling to the ground, the head punches continuing as he lay on the sidewalk. A friend who met him at the hospital Saturday night reports seeing a bloody and bruised Singh, face swollen from a fractured jaw. The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force also met with Singh at the hospital before he was discharged after midnight on Saturday.

While refusing to give details on the victim, an NYPD spokesman confirmed to the Columbia Spectator that attackers “made anti-Muslim statements and then they began punching the victim in the face.”

According to Dr. Singh’s friend Simran Jeet Singh (no relation), Dr. Singh is an important figure in the community:

Prabhjot has dedicated his life to serving the underserved. He is currently the Director of Systems Management at the Earth Institute, and he draws upon his experiences abroad to help improve the health of local communities like Harlem. In addition to serving as an Assistant Professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, he is also a resident physician at Mt. Sinai Hospital. His life's work has been to help the underprivileged access quality and affordable healthcare, and he believes strongly that his countless hours of service are an investment in improving the health of impoverished communities.

Just last year, Dr. Singh and Simran Jeet Singh wrote an op-ed in the New York Times that highlighted the importance of tracking and counting anti-Sikh hate crime.

[Image via SIPA]