Northampton Sikh leader to racist hate mail writer: 'This is unacceptable this day and age'

Amarjit Singh Atwal talks to police about the hate crimes at the St George's Street gurdwara.
Amarjit Singh Atwal talks to police about the hate crimes at the St George's Street gurdwara.
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A Sikh leader in Northampton has appealed directly to the bigot who has been posting hate mail through the door of the town's main gurdwara to stop.

Amarjit Singh Atwal has had to report two hate crimes that have occurred at the temple in St George's Street to police in the past two months.

Amarjit Singh Atwal.

Amarjit Singh Atwal.

On both occasions a person has posted a vile, threatening letter through the door.

"This is the second letter we have had that that talks about Muslims and Indians," he said.

"Most of it talks about how we should go back to our own country, that sort of thing."

"It's malicious, it's obsessive."

Police talk to members of the Sikh community in Northampton this week.

Police talk to members of the Sikh community in Northampton this week.

Mr Atwal believes the letters sent in February and in March are from the same person as they are similar in style. But more worryingly the latest appears to have been prompted by the the terror attacks in Westminster - even though they were carried out by a deluded attacker purporting to be fighting on behalf of Islam.

However when Mr Atwal tweeted a picture of him reporting the crime to police on Monday he was happy to see the level of support - including a reply from Chief Constable Simon Edens.

"To be honest we know the Sikh population is quite active in Northampton," Mr Atwal said. "We do get a lot of support from people when this sort of thing happens.

"People see the contribution we make to the community."

Now the Sikh leader, who was born and raised in Northampton, wants to appeal directly to the letter writer.

He said: "This is just unacceptable for someone to take that stance in this day and age.

"To say 'go back to your own country' is just so ignorant. I am in my own country, I was born here.

"The reason I reported this is is because I want more people to report hate crimes.

"The police said to me the stuff that gets reported to them is barely a fraction of what is actually going on out there. Over the years it has just become accepted."

The gurdwara in St George's Street, near the town centre, often hosts school trips, hosts heritage day events and hands out food to more than 100 homeless people every Sunday.

But Mr Atwal says despite the good work the 400 or so attendees do, many are still affected by racial abuse.

"What we saw was - we as a community group were getting really well until 2001 when we had 9/11.

"Then things started to get better for a while and we had 7/7. We always see a spike when we get these sorts of incidents."