Instances of faith hate crime against Hindus and Sikhs have increased sharply in London since the July 7 bombings, the Hindu Forum of Britain has claimed.
There were as many as 932 instances of such hate crimes against Indians, predominantly Hindus and Sikhs, as opposed to approximately 600 instances of faith hate crimes against Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims, Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the forum said on Wednesday evening.
Kallidai said leaders of the forum met the assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police, Tarique Ghaffour on Tuesday and brought to his notice the increased vulnerability of the Hindu community to faith hate crimes and expressed concern over absence of government recognition of the issue.
Hindu leaders felt that most instances of hate crime against the community were perpetrated because of mistaken dentity during the backlash after 7/7.
"As Asians, we all look the same and are equally vulnerable to any backlash," Kallidai said at the special meeting organised by the forum and the metropolitan police hindu association.
"However, our greatest concern is that there is no official recognition yet that Hindus and Sikhs are more vulnerable than the Muslim community," he said.
"Even worse is the fact that there has been very low levels of government engagement with our communities to understand what effect such high levels of hate crime is having on our confidence in the Criminal Justice System. Very little effort is being made to help our community to increase levels of hate crime reporting and offering voluntary support to victims of hate crime," he added.
In June, there were only 3 instances of faith hate crime against Hindus and Sikhs but now there are more Hindu and Sikh victims of hate crime in the capital than Muslims, Kallidai said.
Arjan Vekaria, chair of the Hindu Forum Security Committee, said, "even though the level of hate crime against our community has increased so dramatically, there have been very few prosecutions."
The forum had invited over 25 organisations to the meeting with the assistant commissioner.