Anti-Hindu hate crimes: At least 14 Indian women in sarees were attacked in California
A California man was charged with a string of anti-Hindu hate crimes against Indian women after allegedly assaulting over a dozen women across the state. According to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, the accused allegedly targeted at least 14 older Hindu women of Indian descent during a two-month crime spree that began in June, reports ABC News.
As per officials, the suspect is said to have targeted Indian women wearing traditional attire and jewellery. He allegedly grabbed their wrists and tried to steal their jewellery. During one robbery, the suspect even beat up the woman’s husband, reports CBS.
Prosecutors confirmed that the majority of the robberies occurred in communities across the South Bay, including Milpitas, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale. The accused allegedly attacked nearly all of the victims while they were wearing a sari, bindi, or other types of ethnic attire.
Prosecutors determined that the defendant stole necklaces worth at least $35,000 from the victims, who were aged 50 to 73.
According to local media sources, the suspect, 37-year-old Lathan Johnson of East Palo Alto, was detained by Santa Clara police and US Marshals.
In a statement, district attorney Jeff Rosen confirmed the attacks and warned the South Asian community that anyone who targets and harms you will face the worst punishment possible under the law.
According to the Hindu American Foundation, the attacks were initially classified as “anti-South Asian” but were reclassified by the District Attorney as “anti-Hindu hate crimes.”
Speaking to a television station, DA Rosen said, “Terrorizing people is more worse than a property thief. It rips off their jewellery, pulls them down the street, breaks their writs, beats up their husband.”
The acts were denounced by the Hindu American Foundation, and one of its members stated, “We are facing an uptick in hate crimes and online Hindu-phobia.” Seeing that we’re making progress in prosecuting to the fullest sends a strong message. “