Include Sikhs among hate crime victims: Attorney General Eric Holder

Washington, USA: Meeting one of the long pending request of Sikh Americans, Attorney General Eric Holder has recommended widening the FBI’s mandate to include the Sikh community among victims of growing hate crimes.

Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, Holder said he made this recommendation to the Advisory Policy Board of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to make the necessary changes in the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) in this regard.

“The (Justice) Department recommended to what’s called the Advisory Policy Board last year that the UCR be amended to include anti-Sikh, anti-Hindu, anti-Arab, anti-Middle Eastern categories in the ethnicity or race section,” Holder said.

“That board is supposed to meet again in June, where it will consider those potential changes before they make them to the FBI director. But it would be my strong recommendation the form be modified so that it captures anti-Sikh, anti-Muslim, anti-Middle Eastern violence,” the Attorney General said.

Holder was responding to questions from California Congresswoman Judy Chu, who recently announced the formation of the first ever American Sikh Congressional Caucus.

Chu recounted last week’s vicious attack on 82-year-old Piara Singh who was beaten with an iron bar, puncturing one of his lungs, fracturing his face and breaking several ribs.

Chu said the FBI tracks hate crimes on its Form 1699.

“There is no current way to document hate crimes against Sikhs on this form, even though Sikh Americans continue to experience hate crimes at rates that are disproportionate to their population,” Chu said.

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