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Three teens arrested for setting fire to Sikh temple; investigators say possible hate crime |

Three teens arrested for setting fire to Sikh temple; investigators say possible hate crime

The Associated Press
| Saturday, December 15, 2001 12:00 a.m

OSWEGO, N.Y. (AP) – Three teen-agers were arrested Friday and charged with setting a fire that destroyed a Sikh temple.

All three youths, ages 18 and 19, admitted involvement in the blaze Nov. 18 and said they had been drinking, Sheriff Reuel Todd said.

The Gobind Sadan House of Worship was housed in a converted farmhouse in Palermo, about 25 miles north of Syracuse.

Investigators said they were considering the fire a possible hate crime, which could lead to stiffer penalties under a law enacted last year.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, Sikhs have been mistaken for Arabs or Muslims because they wear turbans and have beards. Around the country, Sikhs have been harassed and attacked, and at least one was killed.

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