“This case has been classified as a hate crime, and the Santa Fe Police Department is aggressively pursuing those responsible for this disgusting display of hatred and intolerance,” a new release issued Tuesday afternoon stated.
The FBI has also offered its assistance with the investigation into unlawful entry, criminal damage and vandalism; restaurant owner Bajit Singh made a report with the FBI shortly after discovering the crime.
Additionally, Deputy Chief Paul Joye tells SFR police are considering possible connections between this incident and the vandalism that defaced the Plaza obelisk. The two crimes are believed to have been committed in the same time frame overnight on Sunday, June 21. According to Joye, police are collecting surveillance videos from the area, but they have not released any information about potential suspects or leads.
Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber posted a statement on social media on Monday decrying the attack. “This hate crime is sickening and appalling,” he writes. “We need to stand up as a community and denounce this despicable act. We will find whoever did it and punish them to the full extent of the law.”
This hate crime at India Palace is sickening and appalling. We need to stand up as a community and denounce this despicable act. We will find whoever did it and punish them to the full extent of the law. We absolutely reject racism, intolerance, and hate. #SantaFeStrong
Webber was joined by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and US Rep. Ben Ray Luján, among many other citizens, decrying the act.
I am absolutely heartbroken and disgusted by this racist attack. I spoke to Mr. Singh this morning and let him know that our community is with him. We will not stand for such hatred in New Mexico.https://t.co/GXafrZcGW7
Police are asking anyone with information about the crime to contact Detective Ryan Romero at 955-5344.
By Monday night, Santa Feans had started at least five separate crowdfunding efforts to accept donations for the restaurant’s recovery, including a campaign by another local restaurant that raised more than $56,000. The owner of that restaurant, who asked not to be identified, told SFR she closed the GoFundMe account after it got more attention than expected. Another fundraiser, still open and titled “Santa Fe Supports India Palace,” has raised close to $25,000.
When SFR was last in touch with Singh family members on Tuesday, they had began reaching out to fund organizers to collect the donations, but did not yet have an official fund of their own set up.
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A Santa Fean by choice, Cole moved to New Mexico in 2015 and stuck around for college. After completing an editorial internship their freshman year, they briefly wrote a culture column in the spring of 2018 and, after graduating, came to the Reporter as calendar and copy editor to live out their wildest dreams.