Wednesday, March 17th, 2004

Racist Graffiti Spray Painted on Sikh Gurdwara in Fresno


SMART Notifies FBI, Monitoring Fresno Police Investigation

Fresno, CA – The Sikh Association of Fresno Gurdwara (place of worship) was vandalized with racist graffiti on Saturday, March 13. Two large scrawls drawn on a board in front of the Gurdwara read “Rags Go Home” and “It’s Not Your Country.” The Fresno police have not identified suspects and are investigating the case as a “racial incident.”

The graffiti was reported to the Fresno police on Saturday. Since learning about the incident, the Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force (SMART), a national Sikh American civil rights organization, contacted the Fresno Police. SMART also notified the FBI field offices in Sacramento and Washington, DC, along with officials at the Civil Rights Office at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Captain Marty West of Fresno police informed SMART that the police have reported the incident to the local Crime Stoppers. The local affiliate of NBC is also publicizing the incident and encouraging tips or information leading to the capture of suspects. The number to call is the Crime Stoppers hot line, (559) 498-7867. Captain West said that all local police squads have been asked to patrol the Gurdwara regularly and are working with the local Sikh community to ensure their safety.

SMART, along with the Sikh Americans across the country, extends support to the Fresno Sikh community. We will continue to update the community about the investigation and community relations efforts.

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