Indian-American lawmakers seek briefing on surge in crimes against Hindus in US


There are five Indian-American lawmakers in the current House of Representatives. This is one of the rare occasions when all five have come together on an issue.

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The lawmakers — Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna, Shri Thanedar, Pramila Jayapal and Ami Bera — wrote to Kristen Clarke of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, asking the United States Department of Justice and the FBI for a briefing on a surge in “hate crimes targeting Hindus” and vandalism of temples in the country.

“Attacks at mandirs from New York to California have contributed to increased collective anxiety among Hindu Americans,” they wrote. “Leaders from these impacted communities have expressed there are unfortunately ‘no leads’ on suspects, leaving many to continue to live in fear and intimidation. Our communities remain concerned about law enforcement coordination regarding these bias-motivated crimes, and they are left wondering if there is appropriate federal oversight to ensure equal protection under the law,” they said.

“The number of incidents and the closeness of the timing of incidents raise troubling questions about linkages and the intent behind them,” the letter read.

“It takes relatively few coordinated acts of hate to create fear within a community that has often been marginalized or neglected, and we must work collaboratively to combat hate against all religious, ethnic, racial, and cultural minorities in America. We therefore request that you provide us with an understanding of what the Department’s strategy is specifically concerning hate crimes targeting Hindus in the United States,” the lawmakers wrote.

“Given the urgency of the situation, we ask that you provide us with a briefing no later than Thursday, April 18th,” they wrote in the letter dated March 29 which was released to the media on April 1. The move has been welcomed by Indian-American leaders.

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