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Facebook post mocking Islamic holy site sparks violence in Bangladesh

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — A Facebook post mocking one of Islam’s holiest sites appeared to spark a string of violent attacks and lootings that left more than 100 people hurt in Eastern Bangladesh Sunday.

The post made on the social media website showed the Hindu deity over a picture of the Kaaba, a large building in Mecca. Some of the rioters attempted to apprehend the 27-year-old man they suspected of posting the photo, however, police are yet to determine who made the posting.

After nearly two hours of violence in the eastern town of Nasirnagar, at least 100 homes and five Hindu temples were looted. At least 150 men were injured, according to reports. Police have made nine arrests in the incident, including a 30-year-old Hindu man who authorities plan on charging with “breaching internet laws.”

While religious violence is rare in the Muslim majority nation, unrest has increased, stemming from an uptick in Islamist activity in the South Asian country. Atheists, secular bloggers and foreigners have all been the targets of recent attacks.

“We are tired of such repeated incidents. It is very unfortunate that none of the culprits of previous attacks are brought to justice,” Hindu leader Rana Dasgupta said.

Monday, the Hindu American Foundation issued a statement on the riots, citing Bangladesh police authorities named several Islamist groups operating in Bangladesh as the main culprits for instigating the violence.

“HAF is shocked and disappointed by the news of the riots in Bangladesh, especially occurring on the auspicious day of Diwali for Hindus around the world,” said Jay Kansara, HAF Director of Government Relations.

“Religious violence in Bangladesh seemed to have recently subsided due to the efforts of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government in cracking down on terrorists and extremists in the aftermath of the Dhaka cafe attack. However, it is now apparent that the government must renew its vigilance and should direct its current investigation towards apprehending the perpetrators of such mass rioting, instead of focusing on the individual who created the Facebook post.”

As recently as this past July, radical Islamists attacked a restaurant popular with expats, killing 20 hostages, 18 of whom were foreigners.

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to leave office

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to leave office | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The first Indian American to lead the Federal Communications Commission is stepping down. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says he’s leaving on January 20th, once President-Elect Joe Biden comes into office. He started as a FCC commissioner in 2012 and was appointed to the top spot by President Trump in 2017. The FCC oversees at least one-sixth to one-third of America’s gross domestic product.

President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris sent their best wishes to members of the Sikh community observing the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism. It’s the first time an incoming Presidential Administration acknowledged the birth of the Guru.

Four Indian Americans are part of the latest batch of Rhodes scholars. Swathi Srinivasan, Vijaysundaram Ramasamy, Garima Desai and Savarni Sanka are headed to the University of Oxford in England, where they plan to study and focus on a broad range of topics including climate change and COVID-19.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Neera Tanden chosen to lead OMB

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Neera Tanden chosen to lead OMB | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The CEO of the Center for American Progress, Neera Tanden, was selected by President-Elect Joe Biden to join his cabinet and direct the Office of Management and Budget. She would become the first-ever Indian American and South Asian to serve in the President’s cabinet. But Republicans and even some progressives are on the record saying Tanden is not the choice for this position, given some of the tough talk she has engaged with on Twitter against political rivals. Biden also announced Janet Yellen is his pick for Treasury Secretary, and selected an all-female White House communications team, with Jen Psaki serving as Press Secretary.

China is once again blaming COVID-19 on other nations. This time their scientists are pointing the finger at India, claiming the virus likely jumped from animals to humans in 2019 through contaminated water and then spread to Wuhan.

Chinese authorities also blamed Italy and the U.S. in recent months without much evidence. This latest accusation by China towards India comes as tensions continue over their shared border.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India bans 43 more Chinese mobile apps

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India bans 43 more Chinese mobile apps | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — The Indian government continues its ban on Chinese apps, adding 43 new mobile apps to a growing list blocked in the world’s second largest Internet market. This time, popular shopping app AliExpress by Alibaba and Tencent backed Snack Video joined the blacklist. With the new additions, the Indian government has now banned more than 200 Chinese made apps over national security concerns.

Kash Patel, who became Chief of Staff to acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller just two weeks ago, is now in charge of the Defense Department’s transition to the Biden administration. Patel, who is in the Middle East now serving Thanksgiving meals to troops, is considered a Trump loyalist after playing a key role in helping Republicans discredit the Russia probe while working for Congressman Devin Nunes.

The India Community Center in the Bay Area celebrated its 17th Annual Banquet virtually, highlighted by a conversation with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent. Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Gupta received the ICC Inspire Award and spoke of his experience on retaining his Indian heritage, while growing up, living, and working in the US.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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