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Hate Crime suspects plead not guilty in the brutal attacks of elderly Sikh Man

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Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer asks for the public’s help to find alleged attackers on a Sikh man last December. Other law enforcement officials and Sikh leaders look on.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer asks for the public’s help to find alleged attackers on a Sikh man last December. Other law enforcement officials and Sikh leaders look on.

FRESNO, Calif. (Diya TV) — A Fresno man and a teenager pleaded not guilty Friday to felony assault charges and allegations of hate-crimes in connection with the brutal beating and running over of a 69-year-old Sikh man last December.

Alexis Mendoza, 17, of Fresno, is facing the more serious charges of the two. Police contend Mendoza was driving the car which ran over Amrik Singh Bal, who survived the Dec. 26 attack west of Highway 99. Mendoza pleaded not guilty to charges of assault likely to cause great bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon, a vehicle, a denied the hate-crime allegation.

If convicted, Mendoza faces up to 13 years in prison.

Daniel Coronel Wilson, 22, pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault likely to produce great bodily injury, and also denied the hate-crime allegation. He faces up to eight years in prison if convicted of the charges.

Fresno County Superior Court Judge Brian Alvarez ordered Mendoza to be held at county juvenile justice center on $115,000 bond. He turns 18 on May 15, and is being tried as an adult because of the seriousness of the charges. Wilson is being held at the county jail on $35,000 bond.

Court records also indicate that Wilson had a previous conviction for possession of marijuana. Because juvenile records are sealed, it remains unknown whether Mendoza has a past criminal history.

Amrik Singh Bal, the 68-year-old Sikh man attacked by two men in Fresno last December.

Amrik Singh Bal, the 68-year-old Sikh man attacked by two men in Fresno last December.

At a press conference on Tuesday, police chief Jerry Dyer said the evidence indicates that both Mendoza and Wilson targeted Bal solely because of his traditional Sikh clothing and his turban. “I have no doubt in my mind that they intentionally struck him,” Dyer said.

According to Fresno Police, who were assisted by the FBI in their investigation of the alleged acts, Bal was standing outside around 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 26 waiting for a ride to work, when a black Dodge Challenger stopped beside him in the cold fog. The 17-year-old driver veered into Bal, police said, knocking him into the air and slamming him onto the pavement.

The private security camera of a nearby home captured the attack on video, police said.

Dyer said Bal remained unconscious laying on the pavement for about six minutes until friends arrived and rushed him to the hospital with serious injuries. He has since recovered.

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Exclusive: Judges Srinivasan, Rao kickoff SABA virtual conference

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Srinivasan

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Diya TV is home to the South Asian Bar Association virtual conference this weekend, which got kicked off by perhaps the two most powerful Indian American lawyers in the nation: Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan & Circuit Judge Neomi Rao, both of whom serve in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, considered the second most powerful court in the nation to only the Supreme Court. We’ll update you on their conversation and preview this weekend’s virtual gala featuring Stacy Abrams, Preet Bharara, Vanita Gupta, Ajit Pai and many others.

Meanwhile, Judges Srinivasan and Rao may get another Indian American colleague, as President Trump nominated Vijay Shanker to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Democratic Party announced they will be conducting their convention virtually from Milwaukee.

Indian American Jeremy Cooney is leading in the race for New York State’s 56th Senate District, with absentee ballots still to be factored in.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Satellite images show larger Chinese presence at Indian border

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LADAKH, India (Diya TV)  — While the ongoing fracas between India and China has not led to all-out war yet, satellite images indicate China is sending a larger group of troops and building infrastructure in Galwan Valley, site of that vicious clash that killed 20 Indian troops, and a reported 43 Chinese soldiers. It was the first loss of life in battle for the Chinese in more than 40 years. U.S. intelligence decreed China instigated the battle and India says China has been staffing up in the area since May. Following the release of the satellite images, China says India is to blame.

The U.S. is regressing in its battle against COVID-19, setting a new single day record for coronavirus cases at more than 37,000. The virus has infected nearly 10 million people globally, a quarter of that total in the U.S. The death toll now stands at 125,000 in the United States, with Florida, Texas, Arizona and California seeing major increases.

Pakistani-American Qasim Rashid advanced in the Democratic primary in Virginia’s First Congressional District. ​He’ll take on longtime incumbent Republican Congressman Robert Wittman in the fall.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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As critics fume, Modi says India was not breached by China

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NEW DELHI (Diya TV)  — During an all-party political leaders meeting, Indian Prime Minister Modi told the group China did not breach Indian territory in Ladakh, nor was any Indian Army border post captured. Modi emphasized India will protect Galwan Valley, the region where the clash killing 20 Indian soldiers and a reported 43 Chinese soldiers took place. But Modi’s critics say the situation was an intelligence failure and many want Modi to strike back with force. Meanwhile, in a statement, the Chinese Government pinned the conflict on India and is laying claim to the entire valley region.

India was elected as a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council for a 2-year term starting next year, receiving 184 out of 192 valid votes.

And in a wild Friday night surprise, the Justice Department said Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York would be stepping down, to be replaced by Jay Clayton, the current Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. But in a statement, Berman said he’s not leaving until Congress confirms someone & his investigations, including into folks allied with President Trump, will continue.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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