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AMRITSAR: Sikhs in the UK have blamed the government for ignoring the incidents of hate crimes directed at the community. "The Sikh Federation, UK was dismayed when the Hate Crime Action Plan was issued in July, which appeared to have been written as though the estimated 750,000 British Sikh community did not exist," said Gurjit Singh of the Federation to TOI on Thursday. He said the body had written to Prime Minister Theresa May, UK home secretary Amber Rudd and secretary of the state at the department for communities and local government Sajid Javid about the hate crime directed towards the visible Sikh community. He said for Sikhs it was not a new phenomenon following the Brexit vote, but something that raised its ugly head at the national and international level more than 15 years ago post 9/11 and had not been properly acknowledged by the successive British governments. Chair of Sikh Federation, UK, Amrik Singh said, "More than 30 years ago Sikhs were legally recognized by the law lords, the highest court in the country, as a 'race' and afforded protection. However, whilst individual Sikhs have been successful to prosecute in cases of direct and indirect discrimination, the community as a whole has continued to suffer in silence." He said PM May announced in late August that 'race audits' would be conducted within 12 months. "Given the way the home office and others have dealt with hate crimes directed towards Sikhs, we expect the home office to come up short and give new meaning to term 'institutional racism,'" he said.Network of Sikh Organizations, in its letter to the home secretary on November 30, stated, "At the beginning of the year we uncovered some important statistics. Twenty-eight percent of the victims of so-called 'Islamophobic' hate crime were in fact non-Muslim - Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and those of no recorded faith." http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/UK-Sikh-body-says-British-govt-ignoring-hate-crimes-against-community/articleshow/55736611.cms