London: Preet Kaur Gill, an Indian-origin British Sikh MP, in a letter to Home Secretary Suella Braverman, has sought protection and urgent action against rising crimes against the community in the UK.
Quoting hate crime statistics 2021-22, Gill, an MP from Birmingham, said hate crimes against Sikhs rose by 169 percent in comparison to a 38 percent increase in reported religious hate crimes overall.
“I am deeply concerned by these new statistics. 301 hate crimes against Sikhs were reported in 2021-22, up from 112 in 2020-21. The 169 percent increase is compared to a 38 percent increase in reported religious hate crimes overall”, Gill said in the letter, which she released on Twitter on Monday.
The 2001 census recorded 336,000 Sikhs living in Britain.
Gill said 301 hate crimes against Sikhs were reported in 2021-22, up from 112 in 2020-2021.
The letter, which was also addressed to Simon Clarke, secretary of the department for levelling up, housing and communities (DLUHC), comes as 28-year-old Claudio Capos from Manchester was awarded a three-year jail term recently for attacking 62-year-old Avtar Singh in broad daylight this June.
Singh had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, a stroke caused by bleeding on the brain and multiple fractures to his cheek, jaw and eye socket as a result of the attack, the BBC reported.
Gill, in her letter, urged Braverman to implement the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report on British Sikhs, which was published in 2020.
The report found that the lack of an official term was a contributing factor as to why crimes against Sikhs go largely “unnoticed, unreported and unrecorded”.
This report, Gill said, was shared with both the home secretary and communities secretary at the time and was an attempt to consult the government on the definition of Anti-Sikh hate.
“However, despite multiple promises of substantive response and offers of a meeting, the home office and DLUHC, between them, have failed to respond,” she added.