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Houston resident’s Hindu niece in Pakistan allegedly kidnapped and forced into marriage

Houston resident’s Hindu niece in Pakistan allegedly kidnapped and forced into marriage

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Arti Sharma
Arti Sharma

20-year-old Arti Kumari Sharma was allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint in Pakistan.

HOUSTON (Diya TV) — 20-year-old Hindu Arti Kumari Sharma was allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint near her Khairpur District home in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province. After the partition, between India and Pakistan, while most Hindus migrated to India, the small minority that remains is falling on hard times, according to the Hindu American Foundation.

Arti’s uncle, Houston resident and Pakistan native Kishwar Sharma, recently escaped religious persecution in Pakistan to immigrate to the U.S.

“I am deeply distraught to find out my niece was kidnapped at gunpoint near her house,” says Sharma. “Arti is engaged to be married in November and is the second girl to be kidnapped in my family.”

Arti, a teacher at Qasim Model School, was allegedly abducted on her way home by Muslim landlord, Ammer Wassan and taken to a local mosque where she was allegedly forcibly converted to Islam and married against her will. She was allegedly forced into signing an affidavit that she married and converted on her own free will.

Arti has not been allowed to return home. She was set to be brought before the Sindh High Court on Sept. 26, despite her family filing a First Information Report with local police.

The Hindu American Foundation is asking for the immediate release of Sharma.“Arti’s basic civil rights and freedom have been flagrantly violated, in contradiction of Pakistani law and international human rights law,” says Rishi Bhutada, HAF Board Member and Houston resident. “We urge the Sindh High Court to order the immediate release and safe return of Arti to her family.”

Human rights groups, including Global Human Rights Defense and the Movement for Solidarity and Peace estimate that more than 1,000 Hindu and Christian women and girls are kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam annually.

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FTX’s Nishad Singh got $543 million loan

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More fallout from the FTX cryptocurrency platform collapse. Court documents show its affiliate Alameda Research loaned executives like Sam Bankman Fried $1 billion and more than $500 million to Indian American Nishad Singh, FTX’s top engineer. FTX’s interim CEO says never in his career has he seen such complete failure of corporate controls and a complete absence of trustworthy financial information. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it was unable to come up with customer funds.

Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison after her conviction in January for defrauding investors while running the failed blood testing start up Theranos.In her trial, Holmes alleged she was in the midst of a decade-long abusive relationship with her then-boyfriend and Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. The Indian American was also found guilty for his role in this fraud and will be sentenced later.

Starting next month, India will assume the G20 presidency for a year and chair more than 200 meetings, leading the way for global economic growth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country’s leadership here will be inclusive, ambitious, and decisive.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Arvind Venkat & Tarik Khan win Pennsylvania State seats

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – Looking back at the midterm elections, Arvind Venkat and Tarik Khan made history as the first South Asian Americans elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Advocacy group Indian American Impact played a major role on the ground, saying it trained and mobilized 200 volunteers to go door-to-door, to engage voters and provide info they needed to elect new leadership.

After 35 years, the Nancy Pelosi era is officially coming to an end. The speaker from San Francisco announced she’s bowing out of leadership, but will retain her House seat. The midterms cost Pelosi’s Democratic party the House and effectively ended her speakership.

Two former Indian American executives at Meta Platforms will launch a new non fungible token start up for creators. Kirthiga Reddy and Saurabh Doshi have raised more than $8 million for their new company called Virtualness. But they are facing headwinds as the FTX cryptocurrency exchange collapse is putting pressure on the entire industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Meet FTX insider Nishad Singh

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The controversy around failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX continues to captivate the world. Part of the scrutiny is now on the people involved, including Indian American Nishad Singh. According to new reports, this techie was part of FTX’s inner circle, which lived together and ran the cryptocurrency empire from the Bahamas. The software engineer was also reportedly aware that FTX secretly transferred customer funds worth billions of dollars to its sister firm Alameda Research. Currently, no one is facing any criminal charges. Diya TV featured Singh more than a decade ago for running ultra marathons as a 17 year old getting ready for college. 

Former President Donald Trump has officially announced he is running for president in 2024, marking his third bid for the White House. Trump had been hinting at this announcement for months, as the embattled former president faces multiple criminal and civil litigations and as his party is grappling with a worse than expected showing in the midterm elections. 

At the G20 Summit in Bali, world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden are coming together to condemn the rising threat of nuclear weapons as Russia’s war against Ukraine continues to raise tension and anxiety around the world.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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