Irate racism victims drop town boycott

GRIFFITH'S Sikh community has abandoned a plan to boycott local businesses as retaliation to a recent spate of racist vandalism.

The irate Sikh community had considered trucking in supplies from out-of-town before mayor John Dal Broi convinced them to reconsider during crisis talks on Friday.

The Area News reported last week a new temple under construction on Kidman Way worth $3.2 million had been graffitied with racist messages and a swastika for the second time in a month.

Sikh spokesman Ron Singh said local Indians felt detested by the community and considered taking their business elsewhere to bring attention to their plight.

"Our place of worship, which belongs to God, has been targeted by criminals who have made it known Indians are not wanted in Griffith," Mr Singh said.

"The police have taken no notice of our complaints and so we thought about boycotting Griffith shops to prove that we contribute a lot of money to the community and if we aren't wanted then we will take our money with us.

"Thankfully the mayor took our concerns very seriously and he has agreed to help stop the racism and get the police to protect us."

Cr Dal Broi empathised with the Indian community for being the victims of senseless crime but convinced Mr Singh that drastic action would be counterproductive.

"I am particularly sympathetic to the plight of the Indian community because to some extent they are being subjected to same resentment directed to my father and his fellow Europeans during the early 1930s."

"I will be ringing Griffith LAC crime manager Paul Smith to take the issue up with the police.

"Nevertheless, I'd like to think the perpetrators are only a couple of hooligans that are brave under the darkness of night but they're cowards during the day."

Cr Dal Broi was also considering removing trees from the perimeter of the temple in an effort to increase security.

"Removing the trees will not be popular among the councillors but if these incidents continue we need to seriously look at it," he said.

"Anything council can do to shore up the confidence of the Sikh community needs to stay on the table."

CCTV is being installed at the temple and a permanent high-security fence will be erected in the next stage of construction.

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