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Hindus facing 7/7 backlash in UK: Report
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January 04, 2006 14:52 IST

A rising number of Hindus are the victims of hate crimes, partly as a backlash from the London [Images] suicide bombings, The Independent newspaper reported quoting the Hindu Forum of Britain, the largest Hindu organisation in Britain.

Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain, told the paper "hate crime" incidents ranged from verbal and physical attacks on worshippers to graffiti and vandalism at Hindu temples.

He said there was evidence that Hindus and their temples had been targeted after the July 7 bomb attacks in London, even though the terrorists had not been Hindus.

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Hindu groups are pressing the British Home Office and police to keep separate records of religiously motivated attacks on Hindus. At present the figures are collected only for racial groups, the paper said.

Quoting figures from the London Metropolitan Police, the Forum in a letter to the Home Office said that there had been 930 hate crimes between July 7 and August 10, 2005 against the Indian community. During the same period the number of attacks against the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities was 600.

Kallidai told The Independent:: "After 7/7 there was an increase in attacks on Hindus because of mistaken identity. For almost 90 per cent of the South Asian community you cannot tell which religion a particular person belongs to."

The "hate crime" hotline, due to start later this year, could also incorporate a service aimed at young people. The introduction of the service will coincide with a campaign to encourage Hindus to report hate crime.

There are nearly 700,000 Hindus in Britain and the Hindu Forum, represents 240 Hindu organisations in the country.

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The Hindu Forum of Britain

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