Elham Asaad Buaras
Police are looking for two women accused of punching and kicking a Muslim woman wearing a hijab during a violent Islamophobic attack on board a London bus.
Officers released CCTV photographs of two female suspects on December 16, who were believed to be in their twenties, following the attack on October 28.
Fellow bus passengers said the woman, in her 40s, was subjected to a torrent of racist and Islamophobic abuse, before she was punched in the head and kicked off the bus as it travelled through Southwark in south London.
They then continued to hurl abuse at her as she lay on the pavement, close to Elephant and Castle tube station.
Police were called to the scene, and the woman, who was badly shaken by the attack, was then taken to hospital for treatment.
“Officers were called at approximately 20.10 on 28 October to reports of a woman being subject to racial and Islamophobic abuse on a route 63 bus on London Road, Southwark,’ said a spokesman from the Metropolitan Police. ‘The bus was travelling from Kings Cross to Peckham.
“Officers attended and spoke to a woman in her forties who was injured as a result of being punched in the head and kicked off the bus by two female suspects.
“The suspects were heard by the victim and witnesses shouting racist and Islamophobic abuse at the victim before and after the attack.”
At the time of the attack, eye-witnesses had spoken of the incident on social media, including Antonia Bance, head of campaigns at the Trades Union Congress
Police are also keen to trace other passengers on board the bus, as it is believed they may have filmed the incident, or taken photographs on their mobile phones.
Antonia Bance, head of campaigns at the Trades Union Congress, wrote on Twitter: “Just witnessed a hate crime at the Elephant [and Castle].
“Muslim woman in hijab kicked backwards off a bus to the floor. “This isn’t b***** Africa,” they said.
“Others heard anti-Muslim abuse. Some tried to hold them but they ran.”