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Track hate crimes against Hindus, Sikhs, demand Senators

By Lalit K Jha
February 20, 2013 08:54 IST
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Citing last year's Gurdwara shootout in Wisconsin, a group of 26 Senators from the Democratic party has asked the US Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller to start tracking hate crimes against Hindus and Sikhs, besides Arabs as soon as possible.

"These senseless acts of hate-fuelled violence committed against individuals and groups leave a deep impact on the targeted community as a whole. Communities shaken by hate crimes experience widespread fear and terror in the aftermath of bias-motivated crimes," the Senators wrote in a letter to Holder and Mueller on Tuesday.

"We must continue our efforts to promote tolerance and prevent hate crimes. We can more effectively respond to hate crimes against Sikh Americans, Hindu Americans, and Arab Americans with accurate measurements of those crimes," they said in the letter, a copy of which was released to the press.

"We write to respectfully request that you make three additions to the Hate Crime Incident Report form as soon as possible. In short, we believe that the form should be revised to collect data on hate crimes motivated by bias against Sikh Americans, Hindu Americans, and Arab Americans," the Senators wrote.

The Senators delegation was led by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin.

The letter follows up on a promise the Department of Justice made last year to include this data in future reports. The Department's Advisory Policy Board is currently reviewing these changes and the Senators asked quick adoption of the Board's recommendation.

Signatories to the letter were Senators Patrick Leahy, Charles Schumer, Sheldon Whitehouse, Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken, Christopher Coons, Richard Blumenthal, Mazie Hirono, Carl Levin, Tom Harkin, Barbara Boxer, Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell,  Frank Lautenberg, Robert Menendez, Ben Cardin, Sherrod Brown, Tom Udall, Mark Warner, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tammy Baldwin, Martin Heinrich, Tim Kaine and Elizabeth Warren.

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