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Racists torment UK Kerala family

The house of the Christian family in Yorkshire was pelted with bricks and their car windows were smashed.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2006 14:53 IST

The British home of a nursing couple from Kerala has been attacked by racists, leaving them and their two children traumatised and seeking refuge with another Indian family.

The Christian family in Yorkshire, which preferred not to be identified, spent a harrowing time over Christmas when the house was pelted with bricks from different directions and their car windows were smashed.

Police confirmed that the incidents in the Yorkshire town of Batley are being treated as racially- motivated.

In one attack, a brick was hurled through their bathroom window as the family's six-year-old son was using the bathroom.

Reports say the terrified family had taken refuge in an inner bedroom, but fled after persistent attacks and went into hiding with another Indian family in a neighbouring area.

The family comprises the parents, both of whom are 39, and two children aged six and two. Both the man and woman are nurses and were recruited to come to Britain by an agency. The woman works in a nursing home.

Paul Battye, a local Liberal Democrat councillor, has been trying to help the family but says they are now too frightened to stay in their home and are too afraid to be publicly identified.

The woman told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "The first incident was Wednesday last week about 8.15 pm. My husband dropped me at work and then came home and parked the car in front of the house.

"After 15 minutes, somebody knocked on the door and told him the car was smashed - two windows. We called the police. On Friday, the day before Christmas Eve, the car was again attacked, with two side windows and the rear window smashed.

"Then they threw a brick through the kitchen window," she said.

The family left and went to a friend's house and returned to their home on Christmas Day, but for fear of attack stayed in an inner bedroom.

When the six-year-old boy went to the bathroom, minutes after he turned the light on, another brick came through the window, and the window of their downstairs lounge was also smashed.

The family has now quit the house, reports say.

Battye told the paper: "They are quite an isolated family. I just want to catch the people that are doing this."

Chief Inspector Keith Hallas of the West Yorkshire Police said initial inquiries did not suggest that these were racially motivated incidents. But following further investigation and discussion with the family the incidents were being treated as racially motivated.

"Appropriate steps are being taken to support the family and find those responsible. These are disturbing incidents where an innocent family has been attacked in their home.

"We are investigating these offences thoroughly and are continuing inquiries to identify the suspects. People in the community will know who these suspects are," he said.

First Published: Jan 06, 2006 15:17 IST