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United States Postal Service unveils Diwali stamp

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Indian Americans now have their very own stamp paying homage to Diwali.

Indian Americans now have their very own stamp paying homage to Diwali.

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney and the United States Postal Service debuted the long-awaited stamp in honor of Diwali Wednesday.

Celebrating one of the most sacred Hindu festivals, the Diwali stamp was unveiled at the Indian Consulate in New York City. Following years of hard work and advocacy, including thousands of petition signatures, multiple meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, personal appeals to President Barack Obama, and multiple congressional resolutions, Maloney celebrated her success with members of the Indian American community.

For the official ceremony, she was joined by Pritha Mehra, USPS vice president for Mail Entry and Payment Technology; Consul General Riva Ganguly Das; India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri; Ravi Batra, chair of the National Advisory Council South Asian Affairs; Ranju Batra, chair of the Diwali Stamp Project; and M.R. Rangaswami, founder of Indiaspora.

The stamp shows a photo of a traditional ‘diya’ lit against a sparkling gold background and the words ‘Forever USA 2016’ written below.

“It has taken many years of hard work and advocacy but light has finally triumphed,” Maloney said.

“Today, Diwali has received its long-awaited commemorative stamp and rightfully joins the ranks of other major religious and cultural holidays such as Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Eid. I want to thank the USPS and Postmaster General Megan Brennan for brightening the holidays of millions of Americans who celebrate this Festival of Lights.

“The perseverance and dedication of many helped realize this historic day, from Ranju Batra of the Diwali Stamp Project to MR Rangaswami of Indiaspora, to thousands of grassroots supporters across the country who wrote letters and signed petitions. We wouldn’t be here today without their tireless efforts and unwavering passion,” the congresswoman said.

“This stamp represents the triumph of knowledge over ignorance, lightness over dark and good over evil. These values, these virtues, are more important and relevant than ever before and I am thrilled that after many years of fighting for this stamp it has finally become a reality.”

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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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Demolition of Alhambra Sikh temple stopped

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Sikh Gurdwara

ALHAMBRA, Calif. (Diya TV)  — A condo project that would have razed a long-standing Sikh Gurdwara in Alhambra, California was halted by that city’s planning commission after hours of public testimony. A building permit for the 28 unit condo project was initially approved, but a 5 to 4 vote stayed the development. Now Gurdwara leaders aim to purchase the land from the current owner.

Professor & political analyst Peter Mathews announced his candidacy for California’s 47th District Congressional seat. Mathews is running as a Progressive Democrat and aims to serve western Orange County cities like Garden Grove and Westminster.

A new NASSCOM report says India added 1,300 startups in 2019 alone, a factor in driving the country’s economic growth. US-India Partnership Forum Chairman & former Cisco CEO John Chambers believes this report demonstrates Digital India initiatives are working.

And US-based private equity fund Advent International acquired a majority stake in Bharat Serums and Vaccines, a leading biopharmaceutical company in India, valuing the company at $500 million.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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