Asian Indian American community concerned about racial intimidation

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Hampden Township Police Department held a meeting early this month with the township’s Asian Indian American community to discuss safety.

Asian Indians in the community say they’re not worried because of incidents in the Midstate, but incidents around the country.

“First there was a shooting in Kansas City, then there was another shooting in South Carolina,” Deep Gupta, chairman of the Asian Indian Americans of Central Pennsylvania, said. “The third one in Seattle.”

The victims were Indian Americans.

“I think they were mistaken as terrorists, that they could be,” Gupta said.

That worries him and his community.

“Suddenly, when you see all this news all over the country, that’s what the concern was,” Gupta said. “Can that happen here also?”

For now, Gupta says he feels safe for himself and his kids in Hampden Township, but since he’s worried that could change, he reached out to police.

“We let them know the police department is on their side,” Det. Richard Nulty with the Hampden Township Police Department said.

This month, the department held a meeting at Taj Palace, an Indian restaurant. Gupta’s community, police and elected officials all attended and say it went really well.

“At this point, we haven’t had any complaints in reference to any sort of racial or ethnic intimidation, at least not in this community,” Nulty said.

Seven percent of Hampden Township is of Asian descent, which is significant.

Nulty says he started a program last year to reach out to all minorities.

“When time permits, we go around to the businesses in the communities and let them know who we are,” Nulty said. “That way they can contact me if they’re experiencing anything like the Indian community is concerned about.”

Gupta says he is reassured, and always patriotic.

“I don’t even think about anything else except doing good for this country,” Gupta said.

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