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Bay Area Trump rally attendees sue San Jose, Mayor, Police Chief

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Protesters gather outside San Jose Convention Center as presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a rally in San Jose on Thursday, June 2, 2016.

Protesters gather outside San Jose Convention Center as presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a rally in San Jose on Thursday, June 2, 2016.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Diya TV) — Fourteen people who attending a Donald Trump rally in San Jose last month have filed a class-action lawsuit against the city, alleging city leaders failed to properly protect them from the assault of protestors as they were leaving the event.

The lawsuit was filed on Thursday. Harmeet K. Dhillon, the plaintiffs’ attorney, is also the vice chair of the California Republican Party.

“Law-abiding citizens leaving the Trump rally were victimized by being forced by armed police to walk into a riot in full swing where many were assaulted while police looked on,” Dhillon said.

Dhillon says her clients in the class-action suit range from a 14-year-old who was allegedly assaulted by two different individuals and denied assistance by the San Jose Fire Department, to a 71-year-old woman who said her glasses were ripped from her face and destroyed by three of the event’s protestors. The lawsuit also names a handful of alleged assailants and 38 unknown rioters, and says the city’s failure to restrain the protestors opposed and violated Trump supporters’ rights to free speech and peaceful assembly.

It seeks compensation and injunctive relief for injuries they suffered during the rally. City Attorney Rick Doyle said Thursday the city hasn’t yet been served with the lawsuit.

“I really can’t comment until we have a chance to review it,” Doyle said, “but from what I know, the police did everything they could.”

After his appearance at the June 2 rally in the McEnery Convention Center downtown, violence broke out as Trump supporters exited. Police tried to separate the groups but drew criticism for not being more aggressive in stopping assaults or arresting violent protesters. Police said there are 24 reported victims, as many suspects identified, and that they have made 22 arrests.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, named in the suit himself, issued the following statement the morning after the June 2 rally: “While it’s a sad statement about our political discourse that Mr. Trump has focused on stirring antagonism instead of offering real solutions to our nation’s challenges, there is absolutely no place for violence against people who are simply exercising their rights to participate in the political process.”

Dhillon says her clients should not be made to feel their lives were at risk at a political event, or that their rights are “somehow less important” because their political views might be deemed unpopular. She further alleged that the failure to act by police “was colored by political viewpoint considerations.”

Liccardo, who publicly backs presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, is accused in the lawsuit of ordering officers to stand down as the Trump supporters were being attacked. Police chief Eddie Garcia has called the accusation “absurd,” adding that Liccardo called him the night of the event, but gave no instructions on how to police the rally.

“I have a lot of control over my officers, but my officers do not know the meaning of the term stand down,” Garcia said at the time. “They would not follow that order nor would I ever expect them to.”

Liccardo said himself has no authority to issue such an order.

“The ludicrous accusation that I somehow directed the police department to ‘stand down’ at the rally is utterly false,” he said in a statement.

Harmeet Dhillion is the Vice Chair of the California Republican Party and serves on the rules committee for the Republican National Committee.

 

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Puneet Talwar named US Ambassador to Morocco

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – The US State Department announced that diplomat Puneet Talwar is its new ambassador to Morocco. President Biden proposed Talwar as the new nominee last March. The new ambassador to Morocco has a rich portfolio in diplomacy. The diplomat is currently a senior adviser to the State Department.

Six men have been arrested for the gang rape and murder of two girls. Police say one of them is a neighbor and the remaining five are Muslims from a nearby village – although it’s not believed to be a religious crime.

As Pakistan continues to deal with historic flooding a new report published in Vice says the country collected $40 million for a mega dam on the Indus river, but spent $63 million on advertising it. The crowdsourced campaign was  launched by a Supreme Court judge and endorsed by former Prime Minister Imran Khan. It’s now at the center of a massive controversy. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian & Hindu American groups hold DC summit

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WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) – A group of Indian American and Hindu American organizations joined forces to celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day and advocate for the diaspora on Capitol Hill, in what is being called an inaugural summit for political engagement. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, the Hindu American Foundation, the Coalition of Hindus of North America and Americans4Hindus, were among the more than one dozen organizations, hosting legislators from both sides of the aisle in a non-partisan effort to discuss issues of concern in the community. 
 
Indian American economist Aaron “Ronnie” Chatterji has been named White House Coordinator for the implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act’s historic $50 billion investment in the semiconductor industry at the National Economic Council. 
 
Fans of Indian comedian and actor Raju Srivastava are mourning his death. He passed away at the age of 58 after suffering a heart attack last month while running on a treadmill. He had a history of heart problems. 
 
Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.
 
 

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Sukhpal Singh arrested in Tusli Mandir hate crime case

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NEW YORK (Diya TV) – New York police arrested a man for allegedly sledgehammering a statue of Gandhi outside a Queens Hindu Shri Tusli Mandir. Twenty seven year old Sukhpal Singh is charged with criminal mischief and a hate crime for allegedly destroying the statue and defacing it with spray paint outside Tulsi Mandir in Richmond Hill last month. 

India and France agreed to set up an Indo-Pacific partnership to roll out development projects, expand strategic cooperation, and work closer to deal with pressing global challenges such as a food crisis triggered by the Ukraine invasion. 

More than a million customers in Puerto Rico are waiting for electricity to come back on after Hurricane Fiona hammers the region. The Dominican Republic is under a hurricane warning as well. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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