Family living in fear after ‘racist’ attack

Asylum seeker Zabir Hussain and his daughter Aroosha.
Asylum seeker Zabir Hussain and his daughter Aroosha.
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ASYLUM seekers hoping for a new life in South Yorkshire were showered with glass when yobs hurled missiles at their home – in what they believe was a racist attack.

Iffat Shaheen, aged 26, her husband Zavir Hussain, 29, and their three-year-old daughter Aroosha, originally from Pakistan, have now been offered alternative accommodation amid concerns for their safety after they contacted the Home Office.

They claim that on the same night a family of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka living in the same block of flats on High Stone Road, Barnsley, also had a window smashed.

Iffat, who is four months pregnant, was taken to hospital and she claims her daughter is barely eating and has been left frightened.

The family had only been living in Barnsley for six weeks when their home was attacked.

Offat said: “It was my daughter’s bedroom window that was smashed first, but luckily the glass did not reach her.

“However, when they smashed ours we were covered in glass because we sleep near the window.

“God saved us that night, because they could have killed us.

“My daughter was crying and scared afterwards.

“When they threw something at my bedroom window they hit it and smashed all the glass first of all and then straight afterwards a stone came through.”

She said she believes her family and the other asylum seekers in the same block were ‘targeted’.

Iffat said: “The police told us that they think it was drunken youths who did this, but on the same night just two homes were targeted – where asylum seekers live in both.

“We believe this was a racist attack and don’t feel safe.

“We contacted the Home Office over the weekend and told them of our fears and asked to be moved.

“We have no family or friends here – just one friend in London, so we have been felt feeling very frightened and alone.”

A police spokeswoman said: “South Yorkshire Police takes allegations of racially-motivated attacks seriously and is investigating the recent reported incidents at High Stone Road, Barnsley.

“Officers from the local safer neighbourhood team have visited the families to discuss preventative measures and will be doing extra patrols in the area.

“Officers are currently investigating a number of positive lines of inquiry and are hopeful of identifying the offenders.”

n Anyone with information should call police on 101.