"We didn’t do anything to anyone. Why is this hate there?”
An Indian family allege they have been subjected to a hate crime, leaving them scared to leave their home.
Radhika Kulkarni and her husband Ramana Nagumalli live in Birmingham.
The couple captured doorbell footage of youths kicking their front door and calling them “kafir”, a derogatory term to question someone’s religion.
Ms Kulkarni said: “I was shivering outside, I was just crying. I wasn’t able to sleep.
“We didn’t do anything to anyone. Why is this hate there?”
In an email, West Midlands Police told the couple the youths had admitted harassment and shown remorse.
However, it has not been treated as a racially aggravated offence due to insufficient evidence.
The couple reported harassment to the police on five occasions in July 2023.
On one occasion, a group of youths surrounded them outside a local leisure centre.
Ms Kulkarni continued: “They just grabbed us and made a circle around us. I got scared, I held my daughter’s hand and I just ran away.”
Mr Nagumali added: “They said they wanted to punch me, fight with me. We were so scared.”
The ordeal has left them and their eight-year-old daughter suffering from nightmares and panic attacks.
According to a police spokesperson, a “detailed investigation” had been carried out.
The spokesperson said: “[This included] speaking to the victims and the young people responsible for the offences at length.
“The parents of the young people were supportive of police action and we are satisfied that a community resolution was the correct step to take given the young age of the people involved and their history of non-offending.”
However, the couple refused to accept the community resolution and said police should have brought hate crime charges.
Ms Kulkarni said:
“We’ve gone through so much, emotionally and mentally. We wanted them to be punished, in some way.”
In the West Midlands Police force area, recorded hate crimes have risen significantly.
According to the Home Office, there were 2,531 race hate crimes in 2011/12. In 2022/23, that had risen to 8,897, a 251% increase.
Recorded religious hate crimes rose by 1,491% in the same period, from 52 incidents to 828.
The family want the police to take suspected hate crimes more seriously to prevent others from suffering a similar ordeal.
Ms Kulkarni added: “We don’t want to live in fear. Everyone wants to live peacefully.
“We don’t want anyone to go through what we’ve been through.”