Hotline Set Up to Aid British Hindu Victims of Hate Crimes

January 4, 2006

Source: The Independent

On January 4, 2006 The Independent reported, "A rising number of Hindus are the victims of hate crimes, partly as a backlash from the London suicide bombings, Britain's largest Hindu organisation has said.

A telephone hotline to report attacks is being set up to help the 700,000 Hindus in this country.

Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain, said 'hate crime' incidents ranged from verbal and physical attacks on worshippers to graffiti and vandalism at Hindu temples. In one of the most recent attacks, paving slabs with swastikas scratched on them were thrown through the windows at a hall in Basingstoke, Hampshire, while a religious meeting was taking place.

Mr Kallidai said there was evidence that Hindus and their temples had been targeted after the July 7 bomb attacks in London, even though the terrorists had been Muslim... Mr Kallidai said: 'After 7/7 there was an increase in attacks on Hindus because of mistaken identity. For almost 90 per cent of the south Asian community you cannot tell which religion a particular person belongs to.'

The 'hate crime' hotline, due to start later this year, could also incorporate a service aimed at young people and is modelled on the success of the Muslim Youth Helpline.

The introduction of the service will coincide with a campaign to encourage Hindus to report hate crime."