- Indian restaurant in the US vandalised with hate messages on walls
- The estimated damage to the India Palace restaurant is around USD 1,00,000 or over Rs. 75 lakh
- Both local police and the FBI are on the case
An Indian restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico, United State of America was broken into and vandalised with hate messages written over the wall on Tuesday.
The Indian restaurant names India Palace, owned by a Sikh, has sustained damages worth $ 100,000 or over Rs. 75 lakhs said the local reporter from Santa Fe adding that the act of vandalism is being investigated by both the local police and the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation).
The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) has come out and condemned the incident.
Kiran Kaur Gill, Executive Director of SALDEF said, “This kind of hate and violence is unacceptable and swift action must be taken to ensure the safety and security of all Americans,”.
Going as per the local daily, tables were overturned, glassware was smashed on the floor, wine racks were emptied and a statue of the goddess was beheaded and the computers were stolen.
It added that the vandals turned over and destroyed the food warmers, the plates were smashed and the kitchen was left completely unusable, even the front desk area was devastated.
Baljit Singh, owner, India Palace said, “I walked into the kitchen, I saw everything and I was like, hold on, what? What is going on here?” while talking to the Santa Fe reporter.
Messages like “White power,” “Trump 2020,” “go home,” and much worse were spray-painted across the walls, counters, doors and any other surface they could find.
The daily said, “Some phrases contained threats of violence and derogatory racial slurs,”.
Simran Singh, Board member of SALDEF said, “Santa Fe is a peaceful town, and the Sikh community has lived here, beautifully integrated, since the 60s,”. Simran Singh lives minutes away from the restaurant which was vandalised.
He said, “Tensions have flared recently with the reinvigoration of the Black Lives Matter movement and the removal of statues associated with Spanish colonisers of this area, who committed a number of atrocities,”.
Simran Singh added, “Nevertheless, we are seeing an outpouring of love and support around the city and in my experience, our neighbors love and appreciate us, as we love and appreciate them,”.
SALDEF has said that there has been an unprecedented surge in crimes, especially hate crimes, including the 29th of April incident wherein a Sikh-American named Lakhwant Singh, was brutally attacked by a man who was identified as Eric Breeman on Lakewood, Colorado.
Lakhwant Singh was told to “go back to your country,” while being attacked. No formal hate crime charges have been brought against the attacker.