Sikhs were the targets of 60 hate crime incidents in the United States in 2018, the third highest among all religious groups after Jews and Muslims, a report by the the Federal Bureau of Investigation showed on Tuesday. Such incidents had 69 victims, and 49 of the perpetrators were “known offenders”, the data showed.

“Known offenders” does not refer to those known to law enforcement agencies, but indicates that some aspect of the suspect was identified by the police, the FBI said.

Twelve anti-Hindu hate crimes involving 14 victims were reported in 2018. Most anti-religion hate crimes were committed against Jews – 835, with 920 victims. Muslims were the second-biggest targets, with 188 crimes and 236 victims. Ten crimes were committed against Buddhists. In six cases, atheists or agnostics were targeted.

The total number of hate crimes committed in the US in 2018 was 7,120, the FBI said. As many as 4,047 of these incidents were based on ethnicity, race or ancestry, and 1,419 were related to religion.

“While hate crimes remained relatively steady nationally, reported anti-Sikh hate crimes rose by 200% since 2017, making Sikhs the third most commonly targeted religious group in the data set,” the Sikh Coalition, a Sikh-rights organisation based in the United States, said in a statement, PTI reported. “At the end of the day, this data simply isn’t giving us the accurate information we need to effectively counteract hate against targeted communities.”

“It’s past time for action. Congress must pass the next generation of common-sense legislation that equips law enforcement to better identify and track hate incidents,” Sikh Coalition Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy Sim J Singh said.

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