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Pro-Khalistan Attacks on Temples in US Trigger Fear Among Hindus

© GEOFF ROBINSSikhs protestors for the independence of Khalistan scuffle with police in front of the Indian Consulate in Toronto, Canada, on July 8, 2023.
Sikhs protestors for the independence of Khalistan scuffle with police in front of the Indian Consulate in Toronto, Canada, on July 8, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 02.04.2024
Five Indian-origin American lawmakers have raised concerns around the "closeness of the timing" of vandalism on Hindu temples, as they questioned the "intent" behind these attacks.
An "alarming increase" in incidents of vandalism at Hindu temples across the United States have contributed to "collective anxiety" among many Hindu-Americans, Indian-origin US Congress members have told the Department of Justice (DoJ) in a letter.
“Leaders from these impacted communities have expressed that there are unfortunately no leads on suspects, leaving many to continue to live in fear and intimidation,” stated the letter, signed by Democrat lawmakers such as Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna, Pramila Jayapal, Shri Thanedar and Ami Bera.
"Our communities remain concerned about the law-enforcement coordination regarding these bias-motivated crimes, and they are left wondering if there's appropriate federal oversight to ensure equal protection under the law," the letter said.
The Congress members have sought a briefing from the Department of Justice (DoJ) on the status of investigations concerning these crimes to understand the coordination between local agencies, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Civil Rights Division, according to the letter.
They have demanded that the briefing should be organised before 18 April.

The lawmakers warned that "a few coordinated acts of hate" can create fear in the Hindu community, which they noted has often been "neglected or marginalised".

Around six attacks on temples took place in California between November 2023 and January this year. In 2022, similar attacks took place in New York.
Reports have suggested that temples vandalised in California were defaced with pro-Khalistan graffitti, a development that coincides with growing Indian concerns about the activities of pro-Khalistan entities in the North American nation.
In January, the first ever 'Khalistan Referendum' was allowed to take place in California, followed by another such unofficial and non-binding vote in the same state this week.
Additionally, the Indian Consulate in San Francisco was attacked by pro-Khalistan activists on two different occasions last year. Both the incidents are being investigated by India's National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has accused Indian government officials of plotting the assassination of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a designated terrorist who has threatened to carry out bombings in India.
Khalistan Supporters in New York (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) - Sputnik India, 1920, 31.03.2024
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