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Chicago teen sentenced to community service for assaulting Sikh American

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Inderjit Singh Mukker, the Darien man who was beaten in his car Sept. 8, 2015, after a news conference held Sept. 15 along Cass Avenue where the attack occurred. (Kimberly Fornek, Chicago Tribune)

Inderjit Singh Mukker, the Darien man who was beaten in his car Sept. 8, 2015, after a news conference held Sept. 15 along Cass Avenue where the attack occurred. (Kimberly Fornek, Chicago Tribune)

 

CHICAGO (Diya TV) — The Chicago teenager who beat Sikh American Inderjit Singh Mukker last year has been sentenced to 200 hours of community service and two years of probation, according to the Chicago TribuneAdditionally, he was ordered to pay Mukker’s medical bills which were not covered by his insurance — roughly $5,000 — as well as counseling for anger management, cultural awareness, and substance abuse.

“Since Mr. Mukker was viciously assaulted last September, we have seen a meteoric rise in hate crimes against Sikh Americans as xenophobic political speech has increased,” Harsimran Kaur, legal director of The Sikh Coalition, told NBC News. “Charging the assailant with a hate crime is an important step towards addressing the broader epidemic. We hope that the 200 hours of community service are spent with the Sikh American community in an effort to further educate.”

If he fails to complete the grants of his probation, the assailant will be ordered to serve 15 days in a detention center.

The attack took place last September when Mukker, a U.S. citizen and father of two, was sitting in his car in a left-turn lane when the driver in the car next to him began yelling obscenities and racial slurs, including “Bin Laden,” and “terrorist.” After the light turned green, Mukker pulled his vehicle to the side of the road to allow the other car to pass. Instead, the other driver stopped in front of him, exited their vehicle, and began repeatedly pummeling Mukker with punches through his open car window.

Mukker lost consciousness for 10 to 15 minutes as a result of the attack.

Inderjit Mukker was hospitalized after being punched in the face by an assailant who allegedly yelled, “Terrorist! ... Go back to your country.” (Sikh Coalition)

Inderjit Mukker was hospitalized after being punched in the face by an assailant who allegedly yelled, “Terrorist! … Go back to your country.” (Sikh Coalition)

 

For two months after his wounds had healed, Mukker said he could not work his regular job as a taxi driver. Now, nearly seven months later, Mukker maintains he’s still unable to work as many hours as he was once able to support his family. His bills have begun piling up, as a result.

“My income has fallen dramatically,” Mukker wrote in a statement read by Assistant State’s Attorney Audriana Anderson. “I have fallen behind on my mortgage.”

The assailant, a juvenile, was 17 at the time the crime was committed, and was initially charged with five counts of felony aggravated battery. After the intervention of civil rights advocates, the charges were amended to include the inclusion of one count of a hate crime. The juvenile pleaded guilty to the hate crime last December.

In court, the juvenile’s father described multiple troubles which he claims have plagued his sons development and behavior toward others in the community, while at the same time, insisting he was in no way making excuses for the attack. When the boy was young, he became crippled with a disease that paralyzed him, the father said.

“I just really wanted you to understand our circumstances,” the father told the judge.

“The importance of a hate crime charge was never about endorsing a harsher penalty for the assailant, but rather ensuring that our government agencies and the American public acknowledge the problem,” Kaur said. “Mr. Mukker’s case is unfortunately not unique and we must continue to do more to combat this problem together as a nation.”

 

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Democrats meet for the third time to debate

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10 Democrats debate in Houston | Diya TV News

HOUSTON (Diya TV) — Democrats met for the third time to debate, this time in Houston. With the field on stage featuring just 10 candidates, it was more rancorous than the first two clashes.

California Senator Kamala Harris launched ‘South Asians for the People‘ in a video tweet to build support for her presidential bid from Indian Americans and other South Asians. Harris is the daughter of the late Indian American cancer researcher Shymala Gopalan.

Another Democratic contender, former Vice President Joe Biden, announced Indian American Amit Jani will serve as Asian American Pacific Islander national vote director. He’s currently serving in New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s administration.

Former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is levying criticism at the current officeholder, Narendra Modi and his government for focusing on ”headline management” rather than acting to improve a slowing Indian economy.

And actress Felicity Huffman received 14 days in prison, a $30,000 fine and community service for paying to rig her daughter’s SAT scores.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India may offer to cut import duties, for U.S. goods

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India

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India has a road map in place to spend $130 billion over the next 5-7 years to modernize their armed forces and bolster their combat capabilities over their neighbors. The plan includes procurement of a slew of weapons, missiles, air defense systems, fighter jets, submarines and developing infrastructure for use of AI.

Meanwhile, India and Russia are increasing industrial cooperation and will create new technological and investment partnerships, especially in high-tech, with the goal to increase bilateral trade to $30 billion by 2025.

And to help Indian’s space agency ISRO establish a communication link with Vikram, the moon lander lying motionless on the lunar surface, NASA is sending hello messages. NASA’s Jet Propulsion lab beamed a radio frequency to Vikram to establish contact, but no luck so far.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India and Pakistan clash over Kashmir at UN

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India & Pakistan clash over Kashmir at UN | Diya TV News

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — India and Pakistan shared their respective narratives over Kashmir before the United Nations. India said its Constitution “guaranteed fundamental rights to all our citizens without any distinction,” while dismissing Pakistan as the “the epicentre of global terrorism.” Pakistan urged the UN to set up a commission of inquiry into human rights violations, claiming India arrested more than 6,000 people without due process in Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal issued her second letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over Kashmir, expressing deep concern about reports of a humanitarian crisis in Jammu & Kashmir.

A NPR producer based in India, Furkan Khan, resigned after major social media backlash from an anti-Hindu tweet that stated “if Indians give up on Hinduism, they will also be solving most of their problems. What with all the piss drinking and dung worshipping.” Khan has since apologized and deleted the tweet.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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