London: A 25-year-old British Sikh engineer claims he was racially abused, spat at, punched in the face and branded a 'Muslim terrorist' by a bouncer as he tried to enter a nightclub in Poland.
London-born Nav Sawhney travelled to Krakow last Friday with a friend for a weekend trip when he was allegedly subjected to a verbal and physical attack by a nightclub bouncer, he told the 'Evening Standard'.
Sawhney, who wears a turban, had visited Auschwitz - former Nazi concentration camp - with his friend before returning to the Polish city for a night out at a night club.
"The bouncer stopped me and said I was not allowed in. I asked why very calmly and after a few minutes passed, he was shouting at me and spitting at me and was very aggressive," Sawhney told the newspaper.
"My friend came down the stairs [in the club] and asked why I was not allowed in. It was said it was the dress code. But my friend said 'we are dressed exactly the same'. "[The bouncer] pointed at my turban and said 'that hat, Muslim terrorist'. They were being really aggressive," he recalled.
Sawhney said he decided to walk away and went to shake the bouncers hand as a sign that they had agreed to disagree when he was allegedly assaulted.
Sawhney said he was punched in the face with such force, it caused his turban to come off and fall to the ground.
The altercation continued even after the police arrived around 30 minutes later. A spokesperson for the club in Krakow said Sawhney was refused entry into the club, along with many Poles, because it was full and said they treat 'everyone equally'.
He said: "We strongly condemn all racist attitudes or other discrimination concerning religion or nationality. As it has been stated by our employees and eye witnesses, Sawhney reacted emotionally to the entry refusal. It led to the unnecessary discussion between security guards and Sawhney.
"Sawhney was not being offended, spat at or beaten. "Nevertheless, security guards who were on duty that night were suspended immediately from performing their duties until the situation is clarified by the police." The spokesman added the club managers would like to apologise to Sawhney for "feeling offended during his visit".
In a message on Sawhney's Facebook page, a Polish Embassy UK spokesperson said: "We are very sorry about what happened to you. Such racist behaviour is unacceptable and we are glad to hear that many people stopped to express their support for you and contempt for the incident."