Page last updated at 11:25 GMT, Tuesday, 12 July 2005 12:25 UK

Sikhs meet police after attacks

Sikhs feel they are vulnerable to attack because of their appearance

A rise in attacks on Sikhs following the London bombs will be discussed at a meeting of community representatives and police on Tuesday.

Sikh leaders are anxious to avoid a repeat of the aftermath of 9/11 when vigilantes mistook Sikhs for Muslims.

Sikh spokeswoman Mejindarpal Kaur said the community was particularly vulnerable.

"We are a community that gets targeted because of the way we look and because our people wear turbans," she said.

Sikh community anxiety rose after a petrol bomb attack on a gurdwara - Sikh temple - in Kent, and an attack on a gurdwara in Bradford, Ms Kaur, director of umbrella-body United Sikhs, said.

The meeting at Scotland Yard on Tuesday afternoon will involve senior Metropolitan police officers and representatives from a range of Sikh groups.

There will be calls for a range of measures to protect Sikhs and Sikh buildings including increased police protection for Sikh temples, a free phone facility for reporting hate crime and the setting up of a permanent hate crime response team for terrorism-related incidents.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said the meeting was arranged following concerns raised at an event on Monday where Met officers updated 200 community representatives on the investigation following the London bombs.

"The MPS is working with a range of communities across the capital to ensure that appropriate policing is in place and to reassure all Londoners," the spokeswoman said.

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