In its first public act, the newly-formed American Sikh Congressional Caucus has strongly condemned an alleged hate crime attack against an 82-year-old Sikh man in California.
Such events, its co-chairs said, make it all the more important for the FBI to begin tracking hate crimes against Sikhs in the US.
The two co-chairs of the Caucus are Judy Chu and David Valadao.
Piara Singh, a volunteer of Gurdwara Nanaksar in Southwest Fresno, was brutally attacked and beaten up with an iron bar last Sunday. He received head wounds, a punctured lung, and broken bones and ribs during the assault.
"In the wake of Oak Creek and Elk Grove, it is clear that hysteria and stereotyping are still far too common. We must combat the growing wave of violence and intolerance that threatens the safety and civil liberties of all Americans, including the Sikh-American community," Chu said.
"That is why I have pushed the FBI to finally begin tracking hate crimes against the American-Sikh community. This will help law enforcement officers in every locality to do all they can to prevent violence against this, and all, communities. We cannot wait any longer," she said.
Singh's is the most recent attack in a string of violence against Sikh Americans that were on the rise following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
In another statement, Valadao said he is deeply saddened to learn of the attack on Piara Singh. "Heartbreaking events such as this, highlight deep societal problems, specifically what I believe is a general disregard for human life that has unfortunately become prevalent in our society," he said.