herald

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Racist gang force taxi man's family to flee home

Attack victim Athar Ijaz
Attack victim Athar Ijaz

A Pakistani taxi driver has told how he, his brother and sister-in-law have been forced to flee their west Dublin home after being subjected to eight separate "racially motivated" attacks.

Speaking yesterday, an emotional Athar Ijaz (36) said they had been living in their Clondalkin home since December 2006 without any problem.

However, an incident with a group of youths 12 months ago sparked a series of attacks on their home and cars.

CCTV footage shows two unprovoked attacks in recent months. In the most recent, on August 27, the front window of their home was smashed by a man throwing a large stone.

Scary

Now Mr Ijaz says they have been "left with no option" but to move out.

"We're on a street with 20 to 25 homes and nobody is being attacked except for us," he said.

"It's a very scary situation. My brother's wife was alone when the last attack happened and she wants us to move somewhere else.

"Renting is a problem in Dublin, but if we don't move something worse might happen."

Mr Ijaz, who asked that we not reveal his address, said the abuse began after one minor incident in August last year.

He was walking through a park when a number of young men started taunting him.

"These lads were shouting at me 'You f**king P**i b****rd' and started throwing stones at me," he said.

Mr Ijaz walked a short distance and took pictures of the youths on his phone, but the group took his phone and began deleting them.

"Eventually they gave me my phone back and I started walking back towards my home, but two lads followed me," he said.

Two weeks later, a football was kicked at his car and the attacks escalated from there.

They include the door of his home being smashed open and a window of his brother's' car being smashed.

The brothers travelled home to Pakistan last December and returned to discover a second car window had been broken. In February, the vehicle was set on fire.

A garda spokesman told the Herald: "We would urge any member of the public who is the victim of a crime to report it to gardai."

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