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Indian-American lawmakers have asked the United States Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a briefing on a surge in “hate crimes targeting Hindus” and vandalism of temples in the country this year, as per a PTI report. 

There are five Indian-American lawmakers in the current House of Representatives — Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna, Shri Thanedar, Pramila Jayapal and Ami Bera. This is one of the rare occasions when all the five have come together on an issue. 

In a letter written to Kristen Clarke of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, the lawmakers said: “Attacks at mandirs from New York to California have contributed to increased collective anxiety among Hindu Americans.”

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“Leaders from these impacted communities have expressed there are unfortunately ‘no leads’ on suspects, leaving many to continue to live in fear and intimidation. Our communities remain concerned about law enforcement coordination regarding these bias-motivated crimes, and they are left wondering if there is appropriate federal oversight to ensure equal protection under the law,” they said.

“The number of incidents and the closeness of the timing of incidents raise troubling questions about linkages and the intent behind them,” they added. 

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In their letter, the lawmakers said they observed an alarming increase in the incidents of vandalism in houses of worship across the country, including at Hindu temples and requested a briefing on the status of investigations concerning these crimes to better understand existing law enforcement coordination between local agencies, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Civil Rights Division.

The Indian-American representatives asked for a briefing “no later than Thursday, April 18th,” they wrote in the letter dated March 29 which was released to the media on April 1.

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