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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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Indian citizens found dead along US-Canada border

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4 Indian Nationals found dead along US-Canada border | Diya TV News

TORONTO (Diya TV) — In a heartbreaking tragedy, a family of four Indians, including a baby, has died from exposure to extreme cold weather on the Canadian side of the border with the US in an apparent human smuggling operation.  The Indian government says it’s ambassadors in the US and Canada are responding to this situation. 

Federal authorities are investigating a couple who cashed in on the COVID testing boom. Akbar Ali Syed and his wife Aleya Siyaj are being accused of fraud by many customers at the Center for Covid Control testing sites,  who say they never received results or got negative test results via email before they had even taken the test. Several attorney generals have already filed lawsuits against the couple. 

According to the latest Benevity survey on causes and giving,  Nonprofits supporting India’s COVID-19 crisis received a groundswell of support, including Sewa International ranked 10th overall. The crisis in India also drove additional giving to UNICEF 

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CSU adds caste to anti-discrimination policy

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CSU adds caste to anti-discrimination policy | Diya TV News

SACRAMENTO (Diya TV) — California now has the first university system in the country to add caste to its anti-discrimination policy. On the system’s 23 campuses across California, caste-oppressed students will now be able to report anti-Dalit bias, which some students say they experience at school on a regular basis.  

US President Joe Biden just nominated eight new judges including Nusrat Choudhury. If confirmed she would be the first Bangladeshi American and Muslim woman and to serve as a federal judge.

Entrepreneur, scientist and author Dr. Ken Kapur died after a short illness. He was 82 years old.. Kapur was part of the first crop of top Indian students in STEM recruited by the U.S. government during the Cold War. After completing a PhD in 6 months from the University of Washington, Kapur helped set federal standards for nuclear reactors that are still in place today. He also went on to build multiple Silicon Valley tech startups.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Kashmiri Hindu Pandits mark 31st exodus day globally

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Kashmiri Hindu Pandits mark 31st exodus day globally | Diya TV News

KASHMIR (Diya TV) — It’s the 31st anniversary of Kashmir Exodus Day. Hindus across the world are marking this day with candlelight vigils to remember the ethnic cleansing of Jammu & Kashmir’s indigenous Hindu population began. Ultimately some 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee their homes and hundreds were killed in the weeks and months following January 19, 1990 at the hands of Pakistan-sponsored Islamic militants that lasted many years. 

The Indian American CEO, best known for firing 900 employees over zoom just before Christmas, is coming back to work. Vishal Garg is returning to his “full-time duties” at better.com. The company says Garg used a leave of absence to “reflect on his leadership and worked with an executive coach.

The White House will make 400 million N95 masks for free at thousands of locations across the country as health experts stress the importance of high quality face coverings to protect against the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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