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Rep. Rice joins India Caucus

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(DIYA TV) — Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-New York, announced her intent to join the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans. She made the announcement on Feb. 5, while attending a meeting of the Indian American Voters Forum.

She told the crowd her decision to join the Caucus after hearing the story of Sureshbhai Patel. While visiting from India, Patel was out for a walk in an Alabama neighborhood when a police officer approached him and slammed him to the ground before placing him under arrest. That police officer has since been fired, and has faced two separate criminal trials for the use of excessive force—both trials ended with hung jury mistrials, and the case was ultimately dismissed in January.

For Rice, fostering the continued development of the relationship between the U.S. and India was paramount in her decision to join the Caucus.

“I have joined the Indian American Caucus to ensure that we can do everything we can do to keep the relation between India and America as strong as we can,” she said.

Indian Consul General in New York Dyaneshwar Mulay led the meeting, used to promote the growth of the House India Caucus, the largest Caucus of the House with more than 180 members. The meeting was held in the home of Varinder Bhalla, chairman of the voters forum.

“Right now, this is the relationship (India and U.S.) that seems to be the most flourishing of all the countries,” Mulay said at the meeting—President Obama has visited India three times since taking office back in 2008.

Focusing on politics domestic to India, Mulay described why he feels Prime Minister Modi is a “proactive” leader for the country.

“For example, on the defense side, we have decided not just to become the largest buyer of defense equipment and technology, but to co-produce in India and it has created an enormous opportunity for connecting with each other,” he said.

Mulay added: “The partnership between two countries connects almost every considerable facility. And the Caucus being there helps.”

Also in attendance at the meeting were Rep. Grace Meng, D-New York, already a member of the Caucus, and New York state Senator Jack Martins, who is currently running for a Congressional seat, and has pledged to join the Caucus if elected to the House. The Caucus is chaired by Re. Ami Bera, D-Calif.—the lone Indian American in the House of Representatives—and Rep. George Holding, R-North Carolina. Both men were appointed to form the Caucus in Dec. 2014.

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Rep. Jayapal introduces bipartisan Kashmir resolution

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Jayapal

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Democratic Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal introduced bipartisan legislation in the House asking India to preserve religious freedom for all, reopen all communications & release those detained without charge in Jammu & Kashmir. Jayapal also celebrated the release of Dr. Mubeen Shah, a Kashmiri business leader who was detained, she was instrumental in helping. Meanwhile, the Indian government announced there is no movement restriction in Jammu & Kashmir, transportation services are normal, as are schools, government offices and courts. In addition, India says all landlines have been restored throughout the region, but broadband continues to be limited on mobile devices in Kashmir.

A 23 year old woman who was set on fire in Uttar Pradesh while heading to testify against her alleged rapists died in a New Delhi hospital burn unit. Police have the five suspects allegedly involved in the attack in custody.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Suspects in Hyderabad gang rape murder killed by police

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Suspects in Hyderabad gang rape murder killed by police | Diya TV News

Hyderabad, India (Diya TV)  — Four suspects in the rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad were killed by police, who claim the four men were shot in self-defense. The action is drawing praise from the family of the victim but criticism from some lawmakers and civil rights groups.

Protests erupted in India this week seeking justice for this latest victim of sexual assault. Earlier in the week, a 23-year-old woman in Uttar Pradesh heading to testify against a man who allegedly raped her multiple times was set on fire by a group of five men she says included her rapist, who was free on bail. She remains in critical condition.

In a terse letter denouncing impeachment proceedings, The White House signaled it does not intend to mount a defense of President Trump or otherwise participate in the House impeachment hearings. The decision by the administration likely accelerates the pace of impeachment. Hearings continue Monday.

Texas Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher introduced legislation to honor Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal’s memory by renaming a post office in Houston in his honor.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian rape survivor set on fire before trial testimony

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Rape

UNNAO, India (Diya TV)  — A 23-year-old woman in India heading to testify against a man who allegedly raped her multiple times was set on fire by a group of five men she says included her rapist, who was free on bail. Doctors at the Lucknow hospital she was brought to say she is in very serious condition, with burn injuries to 90% of her body. Local police say all five suspects are in custody. India’s National Commission for Women are seeking a detailed report regarding the number of reported heinous crimes committed against women and bail granted in such cases.

Nithyananda, a popular guru that faces charges of abduction and rape in India, announced he was establishing the Republic of Kailaasa on an island off the coast of Ecuador, which he claims will be the “world’s greatest and purest Hindu nation,” with promises of free education, free healthcare, free food and the revival of the temple based lifestyle, In addition to facing charges in Gujarat over multiple allegations, French authorities are investigating Nithyananda after one of his French devotees complained the guru had cheated him out of $400,000.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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