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The recent fire that gutted a Gurdwara in New York could well be a part of a series of hate crimes unleashed against Sikhs due to mistaken identity in the wake of September 11 terror attacks, Simranjit Singh Mann, president of Akali Dal (Amritsar), has said.
"Both America and India should view it seriously and President George W Bush should order a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into the incident as it has troubled the Sikhs the world over," Mann told reporters in New York.
He said that the fire at the Richmond Hill Gurdwara could have been another in a string of hate crimes targeting members of the community.
He accused the Indian government of 'absolute insensitivity and inactivity' on the incident.
"Even though Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Home Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani, External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh and Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra had visited America following the World Trade Center attack they had failed to explain to Americans that Sikhs were not same as Afghans or Muslims," the Member of Parliament said.
The Gurdwara in the Queens suburb of New York was destroyed in an early morning blaze on March eight, injuring six visiting preachers from India.
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