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Wisconsin victim’s kin want anti-Sikh violence recorded

Wisconsin victim’s kin want anti-Sikh violence recorded
The son of a Wisconsin gurdwara shootout victim has appealed to the FBI to include anti-Sikh violence in hate-crime statistics, a demand strongly supported by US lawmakers.

Harpreet Singh Saini, whose mother was one of the six people killed when a white supremacist attacked worshippers at a gurdwara in Wisconsin in August, appeared at a Congressional hearing and asked FBI to track anti-Sikh hate crimes.

‘Senators, I came here on Thursday to ask the government to give my mother the dignity of being a statistic. The FBI does not track hate crimes against Sikhs. My mother and those shot that day will not even count on a federal form. We cannot solve a problem we refuse to recognise,’ Saini told lawmakers.

‘These are steps that we must take to ensure that we never endure a tragedy like the one in Oak Creek,’ said Singh, whose mother Paramjit Kaur Saini was tragically shot and killed in Oak Creek on 5 August.

The demand for including anti-Sikh violence in hate crime statistics gained momentum after the killing, with several lawmakers also demanding the same.

Federal officials have said that they have started looking into the issue and their decision is expected to be known by mid-October.

‘5 August was a tragic day not only for Sikh Americans, but for all Americans, as is any day extremist hate groups target people of faith with harassment and violence,’ he said.

In his touching testimony, Singh argued what happened at Oak Creek was not an isolated incident.

‘I fear it may happen again if we don't stand up and do something. I don't want anyone to suffer what we have suffered. I want to build a world where all people can live, work, and worship in America in peace. Because you see, despite everything, I still believe in America - American dream,’ he said.

The gurudwara incident highlighted the question whether to re-examine the categories of religious groups that are listed on the FBI's hate crimes data collection form  - a document that is used to capture the motivation and not the victim's background, conceded Roy Austin, deputy assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division.
Agencies

Agencies

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