Renowned Democratic Congressman from California, John Garamendi has asked the FBI to trace hate crimes against Hindus, Sikhs and the Arab Americans living in US to have an accurate picture of the danger to these Americans. He was voicing the feelings of a bi-partisan group of more than 100 lawmakers in writing a letter to the FBI on the issue.
Garamendi said that anecdotal and non- government data show that the commission of hate crimes against Sikhs, Hindus and Arab-Americans has become a lethal glitch.
According to community surveys done in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, nearly 10 per cent of Sikh-Americans have the feeling of victimisation of a hate crime.
Last week, the lawmakers had given a written letter to the FBI advisory board articulating great support to start tracking and calculating hate crimes against Sikh, Hindu and Arab-Americans living in US.
The Congressman said, “these groups have all too often been the victim of violent and deadly attacks, the massacre at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and the murder of Hindu Senando Sen on the New York City subway – along with attacks across the US – underscore the severity of the issue’.
At the present, data collecting hate Crime Incident Report Form (1-699) of FBI does not have classifications for these groups of people living in USA.
The Advisory Policy Board, decision-making body on hate crimes documentation, will soon meet to evaluate the issue of adding these categories to hate crimes forms used by the FBI and Department of Justice.
Garamendi said "We Americans will never forget the 2,977 victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks. If I have any say in the matter, we also won’t forget the 2,978th victim, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a loving Sikh father shot and killed in Mesa, Arizona on September 15 because his hateful ignorant killer was out for revenge and thought he was a Muslim,".
However, under the bipartisan Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990, the FBI has been continuously tracing and authenticating hate crimes reports received from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.