FBI Updates Training Manual to Include Information about Hindus

Washington, D.C. (March 19, 2015) - The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) announced today the approval and release of the updated FBI Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines and Training Manual. HAF participated in the drafting and submission of the edits to the manual as a member of the Hate Crimes Coalition, a group of NGO’s representing various stakeholder communities affected by hate crimes. The updated manual incorporated submissions by HAF relating to the Hindu community.

“We believe the manual can be a powerful tool for law enforcement officials to fight anti-Hindu hate crimes,” said Harsh Voruganti, Esq., HAF Associate Director of Public Policy. “We look forward to continue to working with the FBI and our coalition partners to further improve the manual and other community resources.”

The updated manual is the first new release since the FBI agreed to begin tracking hate crimes against Hindu Americans, Arab Americans, and Sikh Americans in 2013. The release also coincides with a rise in anti-Hindu hate crimes across the country, including several attacks on Hindu temples, as well as anti-Hindu vandalism and graffiti in the last year.

“The escalation of crimes targeting Hindus and other minority communities is of grave concern to us,” said Samir Kalra, Esq., HAF Senior Director and Human Rights Fellow. “We are hopeful that this manual, along with other HAF-led trainings for law enforcement officials and community leaders, will help law enforcement better protect all targeted communities.”

In 2014, HAF published the Temple Guide to Safety and Security, a manual to assist Hindu temples in identifying and combating hate crimes. HAF is also currently working with the Department of Justice to assist training first responders on the Hindu American community.