Sikh student mistaken for terrorist in New Zealand

A 21-year-old medical student was questioned by police in Auckland after a tip off from a fellow cafe patron suggesting he was behaving suspiciously.

Student suspected of terrorism after fiddling with wires in his laptop bag.

Student suspected of terrorism after fiddling with wires in his laptop bag. Image by Cheon Fong Liew / CC BY-SA 2.0

The student was waiting to meet with his mentor and research supervisor, when the patron saw Jaspreet Singh fiddling with wires in his laptop bag. Mr Singh was listening to his headphones. The police quickly realised the patron’s error and Mr Singh understood the police were just doing their job. When Singh’s mentor, Professor Luke Larkin, asked the patrons in the cafe to own up to their folly, no-one did. "It's that kind of behaviour that's going to breed more fear and hurt and anger," said Professor Larken. Concerned citizens are asked to talk to staff members before contacting police in future, as the incident could have been quickly resolved. In general New Zealand is considered by the Sikh community to be a very tolerant country and this cafe patron was obviously influenced by events in Paris over the weekend. Read more: radionz.co.nz

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