Racist yobs spat at Bathgate man’s family in 'racially aggravated' attack

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A man has said his parents worry he will be tracked down and attacked by racist thugs after his family were spat at by two men.

The incident, which took place at around 8pm on Saturday 6 July, was described as “racially aggravated” by the British Transport Police.

Shila and Arbind Anand, who were the victims of a racist hate crime on a train to Uphall (Photo: Saurav Anand)

Shila and Arbind Anand, who were the victims of a racist hate crime on a train to Uphall (Photo: Saurav Anand)

The victim said the incident “shocked” his family who are now worried he will face more racist abuse while living in Scotland.

READ MORE: Man aboard Edinburgh train called fellow passenger a ‘bomber’ in racist tirade

Saurav Anand, who has lived in the Edinburgh area for two years, said a pair of men, who he believed to be a father and son, had made his family feel uncomfortable throughout their train journey to Bathgate.

Intimidating behaviour

Shila and Saurav Anand, who were the victims of a hate crime (Phot: Saurav Anand)

Shila and Saurav Anand, who were the victims of a hate crime (Phot: Saurav Anand)

Between Haymarket and Uphall, Mr Anand’s father, visiting his son for the first time from Delhi, had to endure intimidating behaviour including staring.

Mr Anand said: “I saw the guy staring at my Dad. He said something to his son who turned and stared at my Dad.

“He had a bag of crisps which he ate and then stuck his tongue out and was trying to ridicule my Dad.”

The pair continued to whisper and stare for the duration of the journey before they finally stood up to alight at Uphall.

The pair waited for the train doors to close before the younger of the two said something and spat at the window, an act Mr Anand believes he was told to do by the older man.

“My Dad was shocked and it took my Mum a few seconds,” said Mr Anand, “but she started asking ‘why did they do it, we didn’t do anything to them.’”

It was the first time Mr Anand’s parents had visited him in Edinburgh, with the trip his Dad first away from India.

Worried about more attacks

He said the incident has lead to his parents worrying he will face more racist abuse after rumours about the UK’s racism problem was confirmed during their visit.

He added: “My parents hear all these rumours about people getting attacked and they are worried about me.

“I think they are more worried about my safety then they were before. They are back home and I know they are going to worry much much more. They are worried about the guy finding me and attacking me. ”

It is not the first time Mr Anand has faced racism in Edinburgh. Six months ago he was accused of shoplifting only to receive an official apology and compensation after filing a complaint.

He said: “People are quite friendly in Scotland, but there are a few who aren’t. It has happened twice in the last six months so for me it has been a very bad experience.

“It is actually surprising that in 2019 these things happen. I have never experienced it at this level before but there is definitely something lacking in the education or in school.

“What makes it so bad is that It was a grown-ass man, it is not a small kid. Something needs to be done from Scotland’s perspective.”

Witnesses urged to come forward

A spokesman for the British Transport Police said: “Officers received a report of a racially aggravated incident on board a train to Uphall at around 8pm on Saturday 6th July.

“It is believed two men spat on a family’s window as they left the train at the station, having made them feel uncomfortable during the journey.

“Enquiries into the incident are ongoing and anyone who witnessed what happened is asked to contact BTP by texting 61016 calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 615 of 06/07/19.”