The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the US will investigate the attack on a popular Indian restaurant in Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico state, more than a year after the incident happened.
The restaurant ‘India Palace’ was attacked by unknown miscreants in June 2020 when the US was embroiled in protests and racist violence following the death of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis who was killed by a police officer by kneeling on the back of his neck.
The kitchen, dining room and storage area were vandalised and damaged and the walls were spray-painted with the words “Trump 2020” and other racist remarks.
The restaurant is owned by a Sikh person named Baljit Singh, who had purchased it in 2013. It is run by his son Baljot Singh, according to a report in Santafenewmexican.com. The owners had reported a loss of USD 100,000.
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The Santa Fe Police had labelled the incident as a hate crime directed towards the Indian community in the vicinity. Based on preliminary investigation, they said they could not rule out the possibility of the involvement of “persons associated with the restaurant”. However, more than 16 months later, they are yet to press charges.
The FBI will now be taking over the case, and they have said that that they are determined to bring the culprits to justice.
“This crime has attracted considerable local and national attention,” Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda of Albuquerque FBI Division said.
“I want to thank the Santa Fe Police Department for all the work they have done on this case. We are determined to find whoever is responsible for what happened at the India Palace and bring them to justice,” he added.
The Santa Fe Police Department assured commitment and cooperation with the FBI in the investigation.