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Juvenile Terrorizes Sikh Family


Hawkes Bay Today, Hastings, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, Jan. 31, 2003

"Police believe a 13-year-old boy was responsible for throwing a molotov cocktail through the window of an Indian family's Hastings home on Wednesday night. Detective Paul Tricklebank of Hastings police said the boy and a 15-year-old youth had been referred to Police Youth Aid. It was understood the 13-year-old threw the bottle into a bedroom occupied by seven people. It caused minor fire damage. A 17-year-old, who was not present at the time of the incident, has been charged with being a party to arson. Mr. Tricklebank said it would be up to youth officers to decide whether the 15-year-old would be charged with arson in the Youth Court. The 13-year-old boy could not be charged because he is too young. The Indian family claimed the attack was one of several racially-motivated incidents against them during the past two months."
"Since Sep. 11 windows of the Hastings Sikh Temple have been smashed several times, and members of the Sikh community have been verbally abused. The Human Rights Commission is urging anyone who feels they have been attacked or discriminated against because of their race or ethnicity to report the incidents to them immediately. According to a report by the Race Relations Commissioner, New Zealand Muslims had been refused service in shops and bars, sent hate mail and physically assaulted in many N.Z. towns and cities. Children had been kicked and spat on at school and girls had their headscarves pulled off. Former Race Relations Commissioner, Gregory Fortuin, said Sep. 11 had led to intense pain and anger, but it was wrong for that anger to be directed at innocent people."