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Sikh-owned gas station burnt in US
December 01, 2004 09:43 IST
In a suspected case of hate crime, a gas station owned by a Sikh, Sarabjit Singh, was burnt in Chesterfield, Virginia, on November 24, a Sikh organisation said on Tuesday.
Ethnic slurs were also spray-painted on the property, the Sikh Council on Religion and Education said in a statement.
"We condemn the incident and hope that the concerned officials will investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to justice," SCORE chairman Rajwant Singh said.
Hate crimes against religious minorities have been on the rise in the US since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. According to recent media reports, quoting Federal Bureau of Investigation sources, the hate crimes almost doubled in 2003.
Singh emphasised the need for a stronger hate crime bill, which was rejected last month by the House of Republican Negotiators.
The bill, called Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act, proposed to expand the protection to all victims of hate crime and financial support for state and local investigations and prosecutions of hate crimes.