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By Kieran Hughes

An Indian man who was held up at knifepoint by three youths as he walked to his North Belfast home last Saturday (March 3) says he is terrified to leave the house after the vicious attack. Santosh Chowdhury, who is co-ordinator of the North Belfast Bengali Cultural Association, was walking from the Sikh Temple on Duncairn Gardens to his Brookvale Fold home at around 11pm when he was physically assaulted and racially abused by three youths between 14 and 15-years-old.

The three thugs came up behind the 55-year-old as he walked up Brookvale Avenue and demanded money and his mobile phone. After he refused, one pulled a knife on him.

Santosh, who has been living in North Belfast for six years, tried to run away but they followed him, pushed him to the ground and began kicking and punching him.

They only fled the scene when Santosh, who suffered bruising to his knees and face, began shouting for help.

“I am afraid now, I don’t want to leave the house,” he said.

“I can’t understand why anyone would do this. We are in a first world country.”

The terrified  said the youths were shouting racist abuse at him throughout the attack.

“There was a racist element to it. They were shouting, ‘f**k off foreigner’ and ‘f**k off back to your own country’.”

Police have released an e-fit photo of one of the youths involved (see right). He is described as being approximately 5’4″ tall, with a round face, big nose, short light brown hair and of normal build.

The second is described as being approximately 5’10” tall, with a long face, sharp nose and of skinny build, wearing a blue tracksuit top, zipped up so that the hood covered his head, blue track bottoms and white trainers.

The third youth is described as being approximately 5’4″ tall, with a long face, thin nose and of a normal build.  He was dressed in a navy blue tracksuit top and bottoms and white trainers. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Police in Tennent Street on 0845 600 8000 or the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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