Thursday, 20 Feb 2020

Shopkeepers attacked with crowbars by gang of thugs shouting ‘p**i b*****d’

Two corner shop workers told of how they were violently assaulted by a gang of 20 racist thugs armed with a kitchen knife and several crowbars.

Nadeem, 49, and Mudassar Akbar, 38, were walking to their car while working at Hay Convenience Store in Edinburgh when they were ambushed by the group on Thursday evening.

The brothers believe the assault was pre-planned as CCTV footage shows the gang running into the car park just moments before the violence began at 6.55pm.

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The gangsters hurled racist remarks as they shouted “P**i b*****d” and “Why did you come to this country?” as they surrounded the brothers.

Nadeem was left with a bleeding wound as he was hit on the head with a crowbar while his brother was repeatedly punched in the face.

The intervention of a local man walking past saved the men's’ lives as footage shows them running away following the interruption.

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Nadeem and Mudassar, who have lived in Scotland for 20 years after emigrating from Pakistan, believe they could have died if not for the passerby.

The pair were working in Edinburgh’s Niddrie suburb and said the gang had been circling the store for the last two months mouthing racist abuse, terrorising customers and vandalising cars.

Mudassar said: “I was going out for something to eat. My brother came with me as I went to my car to make sure I was OK. We’re scared to go alone.

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“This gang were already waiting for us, like it was planned, and started shouting racist language.

“Two or three had crowbars and one had a really big kitchen knife.”

Nadeem said: “I was hit on the head with a crowbar. The attack went on for a couple of minutes.

“Luckily a big local guy who comes to the shop passed by and he shouted at them to stop and they ran away.

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“My head was bleeding very heavily. I had to be taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and spent three hours in hospital.

“They glued my head wound. I feel we were lucky. With the knife, we easily could have been stabbed.

“This group have been hanging around the shop, making trouble. It’s mostly local boys but some girls, aged 14 to 16.

“We’ve phoned the police almost every day about them. It’s been two months of racist abuse, shoplifting, intimidating customers, coming into the shop and throwing things around.

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“The racist language is ‘p**i b*****d’, ‘go back to your own country’ and ‘we’re going to kill you and burn down your shop’.”

Nadeem added that they have received tremendous support from locals and are determined not to be driven out by the incident.

Police Scotland said they are treating the assault as a hate crime and said: “Inquiries are ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call police, quoting reference number 3092 for January 23.”

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