May 20, 2014
Police are investigating claims that an alleged hit-and-run driver targeted a group of men outside a pub because they were members of the right-wing English Defence League.
A Ford Focus car was driven through the 15-strong crowd outside a Wolverhampton pub severely injuring one man.
The Sunday Mercury understands the 40-year-old Asian victim is a leading member of the EDL’s controversial Sikh Division.
Social media messages on EDL websites were full of praise for Jag Singh, from Wolverhampton, who suffered spinal injuries and a broken leg.
Mr Singh is a long-standing EDL supporter and regularly attends the extremist group’s demos and meetings up and down the country, EDL monitoring sites have claimed.
The turban-wearing father is lauded by the EDL as proof that it is not racist and instead is only opposed to Islamic extremists.
A spokesman from monitoring site EDL Extra, said: “The EDL have somehow managed to hoodwink some Sikhs into joining them and created a so-called Sikh division.
“The EDL play on the historical animosity that exists between some sections of the Sikh and Muslim community.
“Jag Singh is a popular figure in the EDL and the poster boy for their so-called non-racist outlook.
“No doubt the EDL will use this incident to portray themselves as victims.”
About 15 EDL supporters had gathered outside the Rookery Tavern pub in Wood Street, Wolverhampton, on Sunday May 4, a popular drinking and meeting spot for the group.
An argument broke out between some pub-goers which spilled out into the street.
Police say a red Ford Focus car then turned up and drove straight at a group of up to 15 men before injuring another man as it reversed out.
A witness described how bodies were flung across the bonnet as the driver aimed for the thickest part of the group.
He said: “It’s a miracle that no-one was killed or more seriously hurt because the car was driving at some speed and its wheels were screeching.
“I didn’t get a clear view but I could hear and see people being struck and tumbling over the car bonnet like skittles.
“There was a lot of confusion and shouting and some of the men tried to smash the car’s windscreen when it stopped.
“But the driver just reversed out again and hit somebody else before wheel-spinning away.”
He added: “There were women and a few youths stood in that group and it’s just pure luck that there wasn’t more bloodshed.
“People were just stood in shock.”
Detective Inspector Jim Munro from West Midlands Police Force CID said: “It is believed the vehicle, a red Ford Focus car V358 KOF, although this could have been changed, deliberately drove into the group outside the pub following a disorder.
“We are carrying out forensic investigations at the scene and house to house enquiries and have local reassurance patrols in place.
“We are appealing for anyone who may have been in the area or who has information to contact police.”
Detectives have arrested two people. A 47-year-old man was detained shortly afterwards while a 26-year-old man was arrested days later on suspicion of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.
Both have been bailed pending further inquiries.