Sikh boy attacked, hair cut
Two Queens teens dragged a Sikh classmate into their high school bathroom, tore off his turban and cut his hair in a revenge attack for a joke, authorities said yesterday.
The three boys, all students at Newtown High School in Elmhurst, had been friends but a "Yo Mama" taunt triggered a falling-out, police sources said.
Sikhs are required by religious law to wear headdresses and keep their hair uncut.
The suspects, Waqas Ali, 15, and Umair Ahmed, 17, snipped off 15-year-old Harpaal Vashar's hair with scissors about 12:20 p.m., cops said. Someone in the bathroom reported the incident to school officials, who called police.
"This is a mistake. This boy is a very good friend of my son. Last week, he was in my home," Waqas Ali's father, Liaqat, said from the family's Elmhurst home.
The alleged attackers, both Muslim Pakistani immigrants, were charged with unlawful imprisonment, coercion, menacing and aggravated harassment.
The hate crimes unit is investigating, police officials said. Teachers and students at Newtown High School said attacks such as yesterday's are uncommon.
"There are no problems at this school at all," said Sukhrit Kaur, 18, a Sikh, referring to religious friction.
"It absolutely does not reflect this building at all," said a Newtown teacher.
The Vashar family declined to comment.