FBI to examine hate crimes against Sikhs

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Washington, Sept 20: An independent FBI advisory board is being asked to examine whether the current hate crime reporting categories should be expanded to include those against the Sikhs, a top US official announced on Sept 19.

Such a move by the Department of Justice comes in the wake of top US lawmakers and human rights bodies and Sikh organisations writing to the Attorney General in this regard.

This week as many as 81 Congressman introduced a resolution to include crimes against Sikhs to be included as hate crimes. "We will ask the FBI's Advisory Policy Board, an independent federal advisory committee that is authorised to propose changes to the Uniform Crime Reports, to examine whether the current hate crime reporting categories should be expanded to include additional categories of religious hate crimes – particularly including hate crimes motivated by anti-Sikh bias," Deputy Attorney General James M Cole said.

"The Advisory Policy Board includes representatives of state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the country, and it will make an independent assessment. We will ask that it look at this issue so that there will be a systematic process for considering this question," Cole said in his address to the Sikh Cultural Competency Training being organised by the Justice Department.

Being held in the aftermath of the tragic events in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in which six Sikh worshippers were killed by a white supremacist in a Gurdwara on Aug 5.

This was a chilling reminder of the need to do to foster tolerance, understanding and respect among the diverse faiths, communities and peoples that make up America. Violence based on religious intolerance and prejudice has no place in America, Cole added.

PTI

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