Now, 2 Indian families targeted in racist attack in Northern Ireland


One of the two families, which hails from Kerala, includes two children. They were targeted in what the local police described as hate crimes in the Killicomaine area.

The father, who did not want to be identified, is a care worker in a residential home. He was at home with his children when a downstairs window at the front of the house was smashed just before midnight.

His wife, a nurse at the Craigavon Area Hospital, was on night duty at the time of the recent attack, reports from Portadown said.

In another incident in the same town, three windows were broken in a home occupied by an Indian family. The house was vacated over the weekend and police believe the two incidents were caused by the same people.

"We were upstairs at the time and a stone smashed through the window. We cannot understand it. We came here from the state of Kerala in South India for a better life and we found most people friendly. But now we cannot stay in this house. It was very frightening," he told the local media.

The man said: "We hope to move to another part of Portadown as our jobs are here and we enjoy our work. We have been so frightened by the attack. We have been living here for six months and loved Portadown, but we cannot subject our two children to this sort of racist attack.

"We believe it was young people who are not typical of our neighbours, but we do not want our children to be the victims of such hatred."

Councillor Kenneth Twyble, a representative for the area, said, "It really is a mindless action on a hard-working family that is contributing much to the community. There is no room for this sort of racism anywhere and I appeal for these people to stop."

South Belfast Alliance MLA Anna Lo, a champion for the migrant population of Northern Ireland, said she is deeply worried that the families were leaving the estates following the attacks.

She added: "We cannot have another situation in which people feel they cannot stay in their homes because of fear and intimidation. We must not have a repeat of the type of story that brought shame on Northern Ireland early this year.

"It is despicable to think that two children were in the house when one of the attacks took place and one can only imagine how traumatic this must have been. I would call on police to step up their patrols in the area to provide reassurance to these families at this extremely difficult time."

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