Two Sikh men were assaulted in New York’s Richmond Hill area on Tuesday, the Consulate General of India in the city has said. One person has been arrested in connection with the assault, which New York Attorney General Letitia James described as a “hateful attack”.

The Sikh men were reportedly attacked while they were out for a morning walk, NDTV reported citing local media. Two suspects allegedly hit them with a pole and removed their turbans. Another Sikh man had been assaulted in the same area on April 4.

Richmond Hill is home to a large South Asian community, especially people of Indian descent from the Caribbean.

“We are in touch with the community members,” said the Consulate General of India. “Ready to offer all assistance to the victims.”

New York State Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar said that there has been a 200% rise in hate crimes against the Sikh community in recent years.

“I spoke to the NYPD [New York Police Department] soon after both of this week’s incidents against my Sikh American family,” she said. “I am calling for both incidents to be investigated as hate crimes, and that the perpetrators be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

She added that the US Congress and the mayor of New York will enable the law enforcement agencies to inquire into these “crimes of bias”.