Category Archives: Policy

Share this, if you feel for the Delhi Gang-rape Victim- Thank you

Copied from a Facebook Post (photo not authenticated):
Delhi Gangrape Victim
She was a student. She was 23. She was
coming back from a date with her
boyfriend. Her fault: she boarded the
wrong bus. And oh yeah, SHE WAS A GIRL!
Six men raped her one by one and then used an iron rod to tear her vagina, small intestine and large intestine . They left
her to die on the road. Naked. Wounded. Exposed. Devastated.What’s more no one
even turned to look at her. No one even
bothered to throw a shawl on the ill-clad,
ill-fated girl. She can never lead a normal
married life again. She has gone into coma
five times since 16th December. She is unconscious,
critical and hasn’t been able to stop crying.

But don’t worry, she wasn’t
your sister. She wasn’t your daughter.But
she could be. The brutality has to stop
right here guys. These people deserve
capital punishment for their heinous, perverted act.

I VOTE FOR A CAPITAL PUNISHMENT! Please show her that you
care. Please show her that you all are there for here.

Maybe that’s all she will ever have to live by.
I didn’t know her. But she is related to me by the universal bond of humanity.


An Appeal to my countrymen(in English) A moving article in Gujarati on Delhi Gang rape

My countrymen and Women:

The gang rape in Delhi has shaken all of us to the core. But what next? Some demonstrations, some angry articles, endless discussions in media and in public places and then back to where we were?

It does not have to be that way. A will to change status quo can turn this tragedy into an opportunity to fundamentally alter our collective behavior  and force a rethinking on how we tackle such horrendous crimes.  See this excerpt from an article in New York Times (in relation to the Newton massacre of elementary school children and teachers) on how drunken driving laws were changed by leadership of one bereaved mother.

My friends in Bharat, do not forget the rape of this innocent woman. Do not let your passions get cold. Make it your mission to root out this scourge from Delhi and other cities of Bharat. This is a challenge to all the people who call themselves decent human beings and who take pride in their culture (be it Hindu, Muslim, Christian or anyone else). Resolve to see that the culprits are dealt with severely and then put  a light under the seat of our politicians and police, so that the laws are changed and police do their job. We have seen too many action films where hero demolishes the corrupt and the criminal. Now time has come for us to be the real world hero and each one of us can be that. Let us save our sisters, mothers and wives from magnetite similar fate.

Gauarang G.. Vaishnav


Let’s Get M.A.D.D. About Guns


Published: December 17, 2012

“On May 3, 1980, a 13-year-old girl named Cari Lightner was killed by a drunken driver. A terrible alcoholic, the man had three prior drunken driving convictions. He had just come from a bar, on the back end of a three-day binge.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Joe Nocera

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Within weeks, Cari’s mom, Candy Lightner, co-founded M.A.D.D., or Mothers Against Drunk Driving. All over the country, mothers fed up with the unwillingness of politicians to do anything about drunken driving flocked to the organization. Within a few years, M.A.D.D. had persuaded President Ronald Reagan to support a national drinking age of 21, and it had pushed through state laws toughening the penalties for driving while intoxicated. Perhaps most important, M.A.D.D. turned a dangerous behavior that had long been socially acceptable into a taboo….”




દેશની દીકરીઓ ક્યાં સુધી હેવાનોનો શિકાર બનશે ? (ચીની કમ)

Dec 19, 2012 Supplements > Columnist
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દિલ્હીમાં ૨૦૧૨ના વર્ષમાં ૬૩૫ બળાત્કાર ૯૪ ટકા બળાત્કાર પરિચિતો દ્વારા જ થયા

સુપ્રસિદ્ધ મરાઠી લેખિકા મુક્તા મનોહર લિખિત અને કિશોર ગૌડ અનુવાદિત એક પુસ્તક છે : ‘નગ્ન સત્ય.’ આ પુસ્તક છે દેશમાં રોજેરોજ બનતી બળાત્કારની ઘટનાઓ વિશે. તેના પહેલા જ પ્રકરણમાં ઉલ્લેખ છે કે રોજેરોજ અખબારોમાં આવતી બળાત્કારની ઘટનાઓ લોકોને અસ્વસ્થ કરી દે છે. દા.ત. (૧) શિક્ષકે વિદ્યાર્થિની પર બળાત્કાર કર્યો (૨) લગ્નની લાલચ બતાવીને એક વિદ્યાર્થીએ એક ઈરાની છોકરી પર બળાત્કાર કર્યો (૩) પિતાના અવસાન બાદ એકલી પડી ગયેલી બાળકી પર પિતાના મિત્રોએ જ બળાત્કાર કર્યો (૪) ઇંગ્લેન્ડમાં પિતાએ જ પુત્રી પર વારંવાર બળાત્કાર કર્યો અને પુત્રીને ભોંયરામાં ગોંધી રાખી. એ સંબંધથી એને બાળકો પણ થયાં (૫) મરીન ડ્રાઈવ પર મિત્ર સાથે ફરવા ગયેલી યુવતી પર પોલીસ ચોકીમાં જ બળાત્કાર (૬) બંગલુરુમાં આઈ.ટી. એન્જિનિયર તરીકે કામ કરતી યુવતીને ટેક્સી ડ્રાઈવર ભગાડી ગયો અને પહેલાં બળાત્કાર કર્યો તે પછી તેની હત્યા કરી નાખી (૭) આસામમાં મનોરમા દેવી પર લશ્કરના જવાનોએ બળાત્કાર કર્યો.

દેશ શર્મસાર

સમાજના નગ્ન સત્ય જેવા દિલ્હીની તાજેતરની બળાત્કારની ઘટનાએ આખા દેશને શર્મસાર કરી દીધો છે. દક્ષિણ દિલ્હીના વસંતવિહાર વિસ્તારમાં રવિવારની રાતે દોડતી એક બસમાં પેરા મેડિકલની વિદ્યાર્થિની સાથે તેના જ મિત્રની હાજરીમાં તેના પર સામૂહિક બળાત્કાર થયો. તેને લોહીલુહાણ કરી દઈ વિદ્યાર્થિનીને અને તેના મિત્રને સખત રીતે ઘાયલ કરી નિર્વસ્ત્ર હાલતમાં બસની બહાર ફેંકી દેવાઈ. આ ઘટના વખતે બસમાં ૭ જણ મોજૂદ હતા. આ સાતેય વ્યક્તિઓએ વિદ્યાર્થિની પર વારાફરતી બળાત્કાર કર્યો. પ્રાઈવેટ બસના ગ્લાસ બ્લેક હતા. અંદરથી પરદા પણ લગાવેલા હતા. આ ઘટનાએ દિલ્હીની પહેચાન બદલી નાખી છે. વર્ષોથી ‘દિલવાલોં કી નગરી’ તરીકે ઓળખાતું દિલ્હી હવે ગુનેગારોનું કેપિટલ બની રહ્યું છે. રાતના આઠ વાગ્યા પછી યુવતીઓ બહાર નીકળતાં ફફડી રહી છે. દેશની વિવિધ કોર્ટોમાં ૨૪ હજારથી વધુ બળાત્કારના કેસ પેન્ડિંગ છે. કેટલાક તો ૧૦ વર્ષ કરતાં જૂના છે.

૬૩૫ બળાત્કાર

દિલ્હીની આ પહેલી ઘટના નથી. ૨૦૧૧માં એકમાત્ર દિલ્હીમાં જ ૫૭૨ જેટલા બળાત્કારના કિસ્સા નોંધાયા હતા. ૨૦૧૨માં તા. ૧૭ ડિસેમ્બર સુધીમાં ૬૩૫ જેટલી બળાત્કારની ઘટનાઓ ઘટી છે. એકમાત્ર ચાલુ ડિસેમ્બર મહિનાની જ વાત કરીએ તો એક મહિનામાં દિલ્હીમાં બળાત્કારની આઠ ફરિયાદો નોંધાઈ છે. તે અગાઉ જે ખતરનાક ઘટનાઓ ઘટી (૧) તા. ૧૧ ઓગસ્ટ, ૨૦૧૨ના રોજ દિલ્હી સ્થિત યુવતી પર વલ્લભપુરા ફ્લાયઓવર પર આઠ જણે એક કારમાં સામૂહિક બળાત્કાર કર્યો. (૨) તા. ૧૦ ફેબ્રુઆરી, ૨૦૧૨ના રોજ કાન્જવાલા વિસ્તારમાંથી ૧૭ વર્ષની એક બાળાનું અપહરણ કરી કારમાં જ બે યુવાનોએ બળાત્કાર કર્યો. (૩) તા. ૧૮ જાન્યુઆરી, ૨૦૧૨ના રોજ મણિપુરની ૨૦ વર્ષની યુવતી પર દિલ્હીના દ્વારકા વિસ્તારમાં કારમાં લિફ્ટ આપનાર વ્યક્તિએ બળાત્કાર કર્યો. (૪) તા. ૨૭ જૂન, ૨૦૧૧ના રોજ ઉત્તર દિલ્હીમાં એક સગીરા પર ત્રણ છોકરાઓએ બળાત્કાર કર્યો. (૫) તા. ૨૪ નવેમ્બર, ૨૦૧૦માં ૩૦ વર્ષની મહિલા પર ચાર પીધેલા માણસોએ તેનું અપહરણ કરી ટાટા ૪૦૭ ટેમ્પોમાં ધૌળાકુવા પાસે બળાત્કાર કર્યો.

આ તો થોડાં ઉદાહરણો જ છે. એક ક્લાસિક ઉદાહરણ દેશની કાનૂન વ્યવસ્થામાં રહેલી ક્ષતિનું છે. તા. ૫ જાન્યુઆરી, ૨૦૦૯ના રોજ દિલ્હીના નોઈડા વિસ્તારમાં ૨૪ વર્ષની એમબીએની વિદ્યાર્થિની ધી ગ્રેટ ઇન્ડિયા પ્લેસ મોલમાંથી શોપિંગ કરીને ઘરે જઈ રહી હતી ત્યારે રસ્તામાં જ ક્રિકેટ રમીને ઘરે જઈ રહેલા કેટલાક યુવાનોએ તેને કારમાં ખેંચી લીધી અને ૧૨ જણે વારાફરતી તેની પર બળાત્કાર કર્યો. બધા જ આરોપીઓ બીજા દિવસે પકડાઈ ગયા અને થોડા દિવસ બાદ બધા જ આરોપીઓ જામીન પર છૂટી ગયા. હવે બળાત્કારનો કેસ પાછો ખેંચી લેવા બળાત્કારનો ભોગ બનેલી યુવતીના પરિવારને ધમકીઓ મળી રહી છે.

લોકોએ તમાશો જોયો

સૌથી વિચિત્ર વાત એ છે કે, બળાત્કારની ઘટનાઓ અંગે માત્ર પોલીસ કે પ્રશાસન જ નહીં, પરંતુ સમાજ પણ અસંવેદનશીલ વર્તાવ કરે છે. દિલ્હીની બસમાં રવિવારની રાત્રે જે યુવતી પર સાત વ્યક્તિઓએ બળાત્કાર કર્યો હતો તે યુવતીને તેના મિત્ર સાથે લોહીલુહાણ હાલતમાં રસ્તા પર ફેંકી દેવાયા હતા. યુવતી નિર્વસ્ત્ર હતી. એ રાત્રે દિલ્હી કાતિલ ઠંડીથી થરથર ધ્રુજતું હતું. વસ્ત્રહીન દશામાં રસ્તા પર તડપી રહેલા એ યુવક અને યુવતીને જોવા માટે લોકોનો મોટો સમૂહ એકત્ર થઈ ગયો હતો, પરંતુ આ દૃશ્યને જોઈ રહેલા લોકો પૈકી એક પણ વ્યક્તિએ એ યુવતીનું નિર્વસ્ત્ર તન ઢાંકવા એકાદ વસ્ત્ર પણ ઓઢાડયું નહીં. લોકો તમાશો જ જોતાં રહ્યા. આ ઘટનાની માહિતી મળ્યા બાદ દિલ્હી પોલીસની પીસીઆર વાન ઘટનાસ્થળ પર પહોંચી ત્યારે ૫૦ જેટલા લોકો તમાશાના દર્શક બનીને જ ઊભા હતા. હદ તો ત્યારે થઈ ગઈ જ્યારે તડપતા એ યુગલને પોલીસવાન સુધી પહોંચાડવા પોલીસે લોકોની મદદ માગી ત્યારે એક પણ વ્યક્તિ લોહીલુહાણ યુગલને એ ઊંચકવા તૈયાર ન થઈ. એ યુગલની ચીસો કોઈનાયે હૃદયને સ્પર્શી નહીં. મોટરકારોમાં પસાર થતાં લોકો પણ તમાશો જોતાં જોતાં જતા હતા. પોલીસની પીસીઆરમાં માત્ર ત્રણ જ કોન્સ્ટેબલ હતા. તે ત્રણ જવાનોએ જ મામૂલી કપડાં આપી તેમને ઊંચકી વાન સુધી લઈ ગયા. જે સમાજ આવી ઘટનાઓ માટે પોલીસની નિષ્ક્રિયતાને જવાબદાર ગણે છે તે સમાજ પણ કેવો છે તેનું આ વરવું ઉદાહરણ છે.

પરિચિતો જ ગુનેગારો

નેશનલ ક્રાઈમ રેકોર્ડ બ્યૂરોના આંકડા અનુસાર ૯૪ ટકા બળાત્કાર જે તે યુવતી કે બાળકીના સગાં-સંબંધીઓ કે પરિવારના મિત્રો દ્વારા જ થાય છે. બળાત્કારનો ભોગ બનતી યુવતીઓમાં ૧૦.૬ ટકા તો ૧૪ વર્ષની વયથી નીચેની સગીરાઓ હોય છે. જ્યારે ૧૯ ટકા ટીન એજ હોય છે. એ જ રીતે ‘જાગોરી’ અને દિલ્હી સરકારે કરેલા એક સર્વે અનુસાર (૧) ૮૫ ટકા દિલ્હીની મહિલાઓ પોતાની જાતને અસુરક્ષિત મહેસૂસ કરે છે. (૨) દરેક વર્ગની સ્ત્રીઓ ૧૫થી ૧૯ વર્ષની ઉંમરમાં કોઈ ને કોઈની છેડછાડ અથવા તો યૌન પ્રતાડનાનો ભોગ બને છે. (૩) પાંચમાંથી ત્રણ મહિલાઓએ એ વાતનો સ્વીકાર કર્યો છે કે, કોઈ ને કોઈ સમયે તેમણે શારીરિક છેડતીનો સામનો કર્યો છે. (૪) ૫૦ ટકા મહિલાઓએ એ વાતનો સ્વીકાર કર્યો છે કે, બસ અથવા ટ્રેનમાં તેમની સાથે છેડછાડ થઈ ચૂકી છે. (૫) સૌથી વધુ બસ, ટ્રેન, મેટ્રો અને સડકો પર મહિલાઓ સાથે અભદ્ર વ્યવહાર થાય છે. (૬) ત્રણમાંથી બે મહિલાઓએ એ વાતનો સ્વીકાર કર્યો છે કે, પાછલા વર્ષમાં બેથી પાંચ વખત તેઓ આ પ્રકારની છેડતીની ઘટનાઓનો શિકાર બની છે. (૭) ૬૫ ટકા મહિલાઓની ફરિયાદ છે કે, તેમની ફરિયાદ પછી પણ તેમને કોઈ મદદ કે રાહત મળતી નથી. બીજી નોંધનીય વાત એ છે કે, રસ્તા પર પસાર થતી કોઈ યુવતી પર બળાત્કાર કરનારા લોકોમાં સૌથી વધુ યુવાનો અશિક્ષિત, ઓછું ભણેલા તથા ઝૂંપડપટ્ટીઓમાં રહેનારા હોય છે. જે રીતે જેલો એ નવી નવી ગુનાખોરી શીખવતી ક્રાઈમ યુનિર્વિસટીઓ બનતી જાય છે તે રીતે ઝૂંપડપટ્ટીઓ પણ ગુનેગારોને પેદા કરતી અને ગુનેગારોને પનાહ આપતી વસાહતો બનતી જાય છે. દિલ્હીની છેલ્લી બળાત્કારની ઘટનાના સાતેય આરોપીઓ ઝૂંપડપટ્ટીમાં રહેનારા છે.

શું સજા થવી જોઈએ?

દિલ્હીની આ શરમજનક ઘટના બાદ આખા દેશમાંથી સખત પ્રતિભાવો જન્મ્યા છે. પ્રજાની માગ છે કે, બળાત્કાર કરનાર વ્યક્તિને ફાંસીની સજા થવી જોઈએ, પરંતુ તેની સામે એક જોખમ એવું છે કે, ફાંસીની સજાના ભયથી બળાત્કાર કરનાર વ્યક્તિ જે તે યુવતી પર બળાત્કાર કરી તેની હત્યા કરી દેશે તેથી ફાંસીના બદલે બળાત્કાર કરનાર વ્યક્તિને તે સેક્સુઅલ એક્ટિવિટી કરી જ ના શકે તે રીતે તેનું કેમિકલ કાસ્ટ્રેશન કરી તેને અંગવિહીન બનાવી દેવો જોઈએ. રાસાયણિક પ્રક્રિયાથી ગુનેગારને નપુંસક બનાવી શકાય છે. સ્પેન અને સ્વિડન જેવા કેટલાક દેશોમાં આવી સજાની જોગવાઈ છે. બળાત્કારની ઘટના બાદ યુવતીઓ પોલીસ સુધી જતાં સમાજમાં આબરૂ જવાના ભયથી ડરે છે. ઘણા ઓછા લોકોને ખબર છે કે, જે યુવતી પર બળાત્કાર થયો હોય તે પછી થતી તબીબી તપાસમાં જે તે યુવતીના અંગમાં બે આંગળીઓથી તપાસ કરવામાં આવે છે જે સૌથી વધુ શરમજનક બાબત છે. યુવતીઓ આ તપાસ દરમિયાન અત્યંત ક્ષોભ અનુભવે છે. આ જંગલી પદ્ધતિ બંધ કરી બીજો કોઈ વિકલ્પ વિચારવો જોઈએ. બળાત્કારના કેસોનો એક જ માસમાં નિકાલ લાવી દે તેવી ફાર્સ્ટ ટ્રેક કોર્ટ્સ રચવી જોઈએ. શહેરોમાં રાતના સમયે પોલીસે ઊંઘી જવાના બદલે રસ્તાઓ પર સઘન પેટ્રોલિંગ કરવું જોઈએ. રાત્રે ફરજ પર હોવા છતાં ઊંઘી જનાર પોલીસ કર્મી કે અધિકારીને નીચલી પાયરી પર ઉતારી દેવા જોઈએ. પબ્લિક ટ્રાન્સપોર્ટ, બસ, મેટ્રો, ઓટો રિક્ષા, કેબ્સ વગેરે પર નજર રાખવા જીપીએસ ટેક્નોલોજીનો ઉપયોગ કરવો જોઈએ. રસ્તાઓ પર સીસીટીવી કેમેરાઓનો સૌથી વધુ ઉપયોગ કરવો જોઈએ. અમેરિકામાં એક વ્યક્તિ ઘરેથી નીકળે અને સાંજે પાછો આવે ત્યાં સુધીમાં ૧૪ વખત તે સીસીટીવી કેમેરામાં રેકોર્ડ થતો હોય છે. ટ્રાન્સપોર્ટ સાથે સંકળાયેલા તમામ ડ્રાઈવરો-કંડક્ટરો અને ખાસ કરીને સ્કૂલવાન કે સ્કૂલ બસ ચલાવતા તમામ ડ્રાઈવર્સનો અલગ ડેટા સરકાર પાસે ઉપલબ્ધ હોવો જોઈએ.

બળાત્કાર રોકવો એ માત્ર પોલીસનું કે સરકારનું કામ નથી. બળાત્કાર એ સામાજિક રોગ પણ છે. છોકરીઓની ઘટતી સંખ્યા, ઔદ્યોગિકીકરણ, સતત તનાવ, વીડિયો ગેમ્સમાં જોવામાં આવતા હિંસાત્મક દૃશ્યો, ઈન્ટરનેટ પર આસાનીથી ઉપલબ્ધ પોર્ન ફિલ્મો અને શિક્ષણ તથા સંસ્કારનો અભાવ પણ બળાત્કારની વધતી ઘટનાઓ માટે જવાબદાર પરિબળો છે.


(In Gujarati): Naresh Patel, Kagvad, Keshubhai and “Frightened Society”

This article in Gujarati exposes Keshubhai Patel’s game plan of dividing the Gujarat electorate by raising bogey of “injustice to Leua Patel” where he has used his henchman, one Nartesh  Patel to collect funds in name of a goddess and using religious platform to do political activities.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

નરેશ પટેલ, કાગવડ, કેશુભાઈ અને “ભયભીત સમાજ” !!

Posted by Kinner Aacharya at 4:21 PM


નરેશ પટેલના નિવેદનો માત્ર આંચકારૂપ નથી પરંતુ એ સમસ્ત સમાજવ્યવસ્થાનો, સામાજીક ઢાંચાનો તથા ચૂંટણી વ્યવસ્થાનો અને બંધારણના મૂળભૂળ સિદ્ધાંતોનો ધ્વંશ કરનારા પણ છે
થોડા દિવસો પહેલા મારા બનેવી અને લેખક – પ્રકાશક, નરેશ શાહ સાથે વાતો ચાલતી હતી.સ્વાભાવિક રીતે જ ચર્ચાનો વિષય હતા લેઉવા પટેલ સમાજના કહેવાતા અગ્રણી એવા નરેશ પટેલ.  એમની પ્રવૃત્તિઓથી હવે કોઈ અજાણ નથી અને સમાજ ( અમારે મન સમાજ એટલે સમગ્ર સમાજ, બ્રાહ્મણ કે જૈન નહિ!) માટે જેમને રતીભારની પણ ફિકર હોય તેવા લોકોને આ પ્રવૃત્તિઓ કઠતી હશે તેમાં બેમત નથી.  “કંઇક કરવું જોઈએ” એવી વાતો સાથે અમે છુટ્ટા પડ્યા, પરંતુ નરેશભાઈને ચૈન ના પડ્યું અને તેમણે આ બાબતે એક લખાણ તૈયાર કરી ને જનતા પ્રેસ કોન્ફરન્સ (રેસકોર્સના બગીચામાં, નાસ્તો-પાણી વગર!)  બોલાવવાનું નક્કી કર્યું.  કોઈ કારણોસર એ શક્ય ના બન્યું પરંતુ એમણે મને કેટલાક મુદ્દાઓ આપ્યા, થોડા મુદ્દાઓ મારા દિમાગમાં હતા – એ બંનેનું મિશ્રણ કરી આ નાનો એવો લેખ તૈયાર કર્યો છે.  આશા છે કે, જેમને સમગ્ર સમાજની ચિંતા છે અને જે લોકો આવા છેલ્લી કક્ષાના જ્ઞાતિવાદથી ત્રસ્ત છે , દુ:ખી છે – એવા તમામ લોકો આ વિચારોને યથાશક્તિ ફેલાવવાનું કાર્ય કરશે … 
શું તમારી બદલે કોઈ જીવી લે, તમારી બદલે કોઈ શ્વાસ લઇ લે એ શક્ય છે?:
જો “ના” , તો પછી તમારે મત કોને આપવો એ અંગે નિર્ણય અન્ય કોઈ શા માટે લઇ શકે?

છેલ્લાં કેટલાંક સમય દરમિયાન ખોડલધામ ફેમ નરેશ પટેલના જે પ્રકારનાં નિવેદનો અખબારોમાં આવી રહ્યાં છે તે સમગ્ર સમાજ માટે આંચકારૂપ છે. આપણે અહીં સમગ્ર સમાજની વાત કરી રહ્યાં છીએ અને સમગ્ર સમાજમાં વાણીયાં-બ્રાહ્મણ-લોહાણા, મોચી, સુથાર, લોહાર, કુંભાર, દલિતો, મુસ્લીમો તથા અદિવાસીઓ વગેરે પ્રત્યેક કોમ સાથે કડવા અને લેઉઆ પટેલો પણ આપમેળે સમાવિષ્ટ થઇ જાય છે. યાદ રહેઃ નરેશ પટેલના નિવેદનો માત્ર આંચકારૂપ નથી પરંતુ એ સમસ્ત સમાજવ્યવસ્થાનો, સામાજીક ઢાંચાનો તથા ચૂંટણી વ્યવસ્થાનો અને બંધારણના મૂળભૂળ સિદ્ધાંતોનો ધ્વંશ કરનારા પણ છે. એમના નિવેદનો ઘાતક છે, એમની હરકતો નજીકના ભવિષ્યમાં જ વર્ગ વિગ્રહ ભડકાવે તેવી પુરેપુરી શક્યતાઓ છે.
માતાજીના ધર્મસ્થાનનાં નામે ટોળા ભેગા કરવા અને પછી રીતસરનું રાજકીય બ્લેક મેઈલિંગ શરૂ કરવું, જ્ઞાતિવાદ ભડકે તેવી હરકતો ખુલ્લેઆમ કરવી… એ જ્ઞાતિવાદ નથી તો બીજું શું છે? હમણાં જ ભાઇ નરેશ પટેલએ એવું કહ્યું કે, “જે પક્ષ લેઉઆ પટેલોને વધુ ટિકિટ આપશે તેને લેઉઆ પટેલો મત આપશે!” બીજું નિવેદન એવું કર્યુ કે, “અમે રાજકીય પક્ષોની વર્તણૂંક જોઇને નક્કી કરીશું કે, અમારે કોને મત આપવો!” પછી એમ કહ્યું કે, “લેઉવા પટેલોએ યહૂદીઓની જેમ એકતા દાખવવાની જરૂર છે!’ આજે જ્યારે સૌપ્રથમ જરૂરત ભારતીય બનવાની છે ત્યારે આવી વાતો ધડમાથા વગરની લાગે છે! બહુ વિચિત્ર લાગે તેવી આ વાતો છે. આખા લેઉઆ પટેલ સમાજ વતી નિર્ણયો લેવાનો અધિકાર તેમને કોણે આપ્યો? કોને મત આપવો-કોને ન આપવો, એ દરેક વ્યક્તિની અંગત બાબત છે. તેનાં માટે કોઇ જ્ઞાતિના બની બેઠેલા નેતા વ઼્હીપ જારી કરી શકે નહિ. આવો ફેંસલો કે ચૂકાદો કોઇ વ્યક્તિ જાહેર કરતી હોય તો એ સમાજને માટે ઘાતક પણ છે અને ચૂંટણીની મૂળભૂત ભાવનાને ખત્મ કરનારો પણ છે.
સામાન્ય નાગરિક તરીકે અમને લાગે છે કે, આવા નિવેદનો વાંચીને બાકીની દરેક જ્ઞાતિના લોકોનું લોહી ઉકળી ઉઠે છે. ખરેખર તો લેઉઆ પટેલોનું પણ ઉકળવું જ જોઇએ. કોઇ એક વ્યક્તિ તેમના વતી આવા ફેંસલાઓ લઇ કેવી રીતે શકે? બહુ નિખાલસતાથી કહીએ તો કહી શકાય કે, નરેશ                                                                                                                                                                                                                        જેવાં લોકોને કારણે લેઉઆ પટેલ જ્ઞાતિ પણ સમાજના તમામ ઇત્તર વર્ગમાં ચર્ચાનો વિષય બની રહી છે. આ નરી વાસ્તવિકતા છે. રાજકીય મર્યાદાઓના કારણે અને અન્ય અનેક પ્રકારનાં ડરને લીધે લોકો જાહેરમાં કશું બોલી શકતા નથી પરંતુ લોકોમાં આ અંગે ભારોભાર રોષ છે. અમે અનુભવ્યું  છે કે, ઘણાં લેઉઆ પટેલોને પણ આવી જ્ઞાતિવાદી હરકતો ગમતી નથી પરંતુ તેમનો કોઇ વોઇસ નથી. અથવા તો જ્ઞાતિથી અળગા થવાની તેમની પાસે નૈતિક હિમ્મત નથી.
પરિસ્થિતિ બહુ ગંભિર છે. ધર્મનો ઓટલો હવે રાજકીય રોટલો શેકવા માટે ઉપયોગમાં લેવાય છે. માતાજીના નામે લાખ્ખો લોકોને ભેગા કરીને તેમને રાજકીય સંદેશાઓ અપાય છે. કોઇપણ સમાજ માટે આ માનસિક નાદુરસ્તીની નિશાની છે. શું આપણો સમાજ રિવર્સ ગીયરમાં ચાલી રહ્યો છે? શું આપણે જ્ઞાતિવાદ અને કોમવાદથી ખદબદતા આપણાં ભૂતકાળ તરફ ગતિ કરવી છે? દરેક સમાજે તે વિશે વિચાર કરવો પડશે. લેઉઆ પટેલોએ સૌથી વધુ ગંભિરતા રાખીને આ અંગે ચિંતન કરવું પડશે. જ્ઞાતિની સંખ્યાના આધારે ટિકિટો માંગતા રહીશું તો જાહેર જીવનમાં આપણે વધુ અંધાધુંધી સર્જીશું.
આપણો સમાજ કઇ દિશામાં ગતિ કરશે તેનો બહુ મોટો આધાર પટેલો પર છે. પટેલો પાસે અઢળક ધનસંપદા અને રિસોર્સીસ છે. એમની સુખાકારીને તેઓ હકારાત્મક માર્ગે ઉપયોગ કરે એ ઇચ્છનીય છે, એ જ સાચો રસ્તો છે. સૌથી વધુ સુખી-સંપન્ન હોવાનાં નાતે તેઓ પર વિશિષ્ટ સામાજીક જવાબદારી છે. તેઓ ઇચ્છે તો સમાજને નવો રાહ ચીંધી શકે તેમ છે. પણ એ માટે જ્ઞાતિના રાગડા તાણવાનું બંધ કરવું પડશે અને અન્યાયનાં ઠાલાં મરશિયાને પણ વિરામ આપવો પડશે.
`અન્યાય…. અન્યાય….’ની આ કેશુભાઈની વાતો બાલીશ પણ છે, જુઠ્ઠી છે અને સમાજને ગેરમાર્ગે દોરનારી છે. `સમાજ’ની `એકતા’ના નામે અહીં ખુલ્લેઆમ દાદાગીરી થઇ રહી છે. બ્લેક મેઇલિંગ થઇ રહ્યું છે. અને અન્યાયના નામે લેઉઆ પટેલ જ્ઞાતિની સહાનૂભૂતિ મેળવવાનો તથા તેમનાં પર કાબૂ લેવાના પ્રયાસો થઇ રહ્યાં છે. સવાલ એ છે કે, અન્યાયના ગાણા ગાતા અગ્રણીઓ આ અન્યાયની વિગતો શા માટે આપતા નથી? ગુજરાતના રાજકારણમાં સૌથી વધુ વજન પટેલોનું જ છે અને સ્થાનિક-કોર્પોરેટરોથી શરૂ કરીને મંત્રીમંડળ સુધી પટેલોની જ બોલબાલા છે. ગુજરાતના 182માંથી કેટલા ધારાસભ્યો પટેલ છે? જરા આંકડો કાઢી જુઓ એટલે આપોઆપ ખ્યાલ આવી જશે। ગુજરાતનાં રપ મંત્રીઓમાંથી આઠ મંત્રીઓ પટેલ છે! સૌથી વધુ ટિકિટો તેમને મળે છે, સત્તા તેમને મળે છે. ગુજરાતનાં 14માંથી ત્રણ મુખ્યમંત્રી પટેલ જ્ઞાતિનાં રહ્યાં છે. વેપારથી લઇ રાજકારણ સુધીના દરેક ક્ષેત્રોમાં પટેલોની બોલબાલા છે. પટેલોને જો અન્યાય થતો હોય તો શું આવી સ્થિતિ હોઇ શકે?
કેશુભાઇ પટેલ જેવા નેતાઓએ પણ સમાજનું ઓછું નુકસાન નથી કર્યુ. સૌપ્રથમ તો તેમણે સમાજ (લેઉઆ પટેલ સમાજ)ને અન્યાયના નામે સહાનૂભૂતિ ઉઘરાવવાની ચેષ્ઠા કરી. દાવ ઊંધો પડતા સમાજ (સમગ્ર સમાજ) ભયભીત હોવાનું કહ્યું. એમની દૃષ્ટિ લેઉઆ પટેલ સમાજથી શરૂ કરીને લેઉઆ પટેલ સમાજ પર જ ખતમ થઇ જાય છે. એમની અંગત રાજકીય પછડાટનો બદલો વાળવા હવે તેઓ જ્ઞાતિનો તલવાર-ઢાલ તરીકે રીતસર દુરૂપયોગ કરી રહ્યાં છે.
જ્ઞાતિની એકતાના નામે જાણે ઘેટાચરાને ઉત્તેજન અપાઇ રહ્યું હોય એમ લાગે છે. માતાજીના નામે થતા મેળાવડાઓનો ઉપયોગ અંગત મહત્વાકાંક્ષા પૂર્ણ કરવા થઇ રહ્યો હોય એવું લાગે છે. આ સમય આવા મેળાવડાઓમાં જોડાઇ જવાનો નથી પણ જાગી જવાનો છે. દુનિયા ક્યાંથી ક્યાં પહોંચી ગઇ અને આપણે જ્ઞાતિના નામે રક્તતૂલા જેવા ગતકડા જ કરી રહ્યાં છીએ. હા! કચડાયેલી અને પીડિત જ્ઞાતિઓનાં લોકો `એકતા’ની અને અન્યાયની વાતો કરે તો સમજી શકાય એમ છે. પણ વાણીયા, બ્રાહ્મણ, લોહાણા કે પટેલોને કોણ અન્યાય કરી શકવાનું છે? જ્યાં જ્ઞાન, ભણતર, સાહસ અને ઉદ્યમ હોય ત્યાં અન્યાય ટકી જ ના શકે. પટેલો પાસે અખૂટ રીસોર્સીસ છે, એશ્વર્ય છે, સત્તા છે. શું નરેશ પટેલ જેવા લોકો એવું ઇચ્છે છે કે, ગુજરાતનાં તમામ ધારાસભ્ય લેઉઆ પટેલ જ હોવા જોઇએ!
જ્ઞાતિના નામે દાદાગીરીનો આ ખેલ એક ખોટું ઉદાહરણ બેસાડી રહ્યો છે. નરેશ પટેલમાંથી દરેક જ્ઞાતિના-ગામના ઉતાર જેવાં લોકો વાહિયાત પ્રેરણા મેળવી રહ્યાં છે. બ્રહ્મ સેના કે એવી કોઈ સંસ્થા દ્વારા બ્રાહ્મણો માટે ટિકિટ મંગાઈ છે, પુરુષોત્તમ સોલંકી કહે છે કે, કોળીઓને ઓછામાં ઓછી ચાલીસ ટિકિટો આપો! આ તમામ વાતો વાહિયાત છે. અમે બ્રાહ્મણ અને જૈન છીએ  પરંતુ જ્ઞાતિના આધારે કે સંખ્યાના આધારે કોઈ બ્રાહ્મણને ટિકિટ મળતી હોય તો તેની સામે  અમારો સખ્ત વિરોધ છે.  થોડા સમય પહેલા કેટલાંક બ્રાહ્મણોએ સંજીવ ભટ્ટ અને હરેન પંડ્યાના નામે ઉપવાસ માંડ્યા હતાં અને `બ્રાહ્મણોને અન્યાય’ના વાજાં વગાડ્યા હતાં. શું સંજીવ ભટ્ટને કોઇ અન્યાય થયો છે? જો થયો જ હોય તો એ એટલા માટે થયો છે કે, તેઓ બ્રાહ્મણ છે? હરેન પંડ્યા બ્રાહ્મણ હતા એટલે તેમની હત્યા થઇ હતી શું? આવા તાયફાઓ સામાન્ય રીતે પોતાનો સ્વાર્થ સાધવા જ થતા હોય છે. અને આવા દરેક પ્રયાસ સામે અમારો વિરોધ છે. પછી એ પ્રયત્ય બ્રાહ્મણો દ્વારા થતો હોય કે કોઇ લોહાણા અગણી તરફથી થતો હોય કે પછી નરેશ પટેલ દ્વારા થતો હોય.
જ્ઞાતિના બની બેઠેલા અગ્રણીઓ એ વાત જાણી લે કે, જે-તે જ્ઞાતિ તેમની જાગિર નથી અને જ્ઞાતિજનો તેમના ગુલામ નથી. અઢાર વર્ષની વય પછી દરેક નાગરિકને પોતાની વિવેકબુદ્ધિ મુજબ મતદાન કરવાનો અધિકાર છે. તેમને જ્ઞાતિના મંચ પરથી કે ધાર્મિક મેળાવડાના સ્ટેજ પરથી સૂચનાઓ આપવામાં સાર નથી. `અન્યાય…. અન્યાય….’ના ગીતડા ગાતા નીકળેલા કેશુભાઇ પટેલ જેવા નેતાઓએ પણ સમાજનું ઓછું નુકસાન નથી કર્યુ. સૌપ્રથમ તો તેમણે સમાજ (લેઉઆ પટેલ સમાજ)ને અન્યાયના નામે સહાનૂભૂતિ ઉઘરાવવાની ચેષ્ઠા કરી. દાવ ઊંધો પડતા સમાજ (સમગ્ર સમાજ) ભયભીત હોવાનું કહ્યું. એમની દૃષ્ટિ લેઉઆ પટેલ સમાજથી શરૂ કરીને લેઉઆ પટેલ સમાજ પર જ ખતમ થઇ જાય છે. એમની અંગત રાજકીય પછડાટનો બદલો વાળવા હવે તેઓ જ્ઞાતિનો તલવાર-ઢાલ તરીકે રીતસર દુરૂપયોગ કરી રહ્યાં છે.
કોઇ જ રાજકીય પક્ષ સાથે અમારે સ્નાન સૂતકનો પણ વ્યવહાર નથી. ભાજપ હોય કે કોંગ્રેસ હોય… બધા જ પક્ષો જ્ઞાતિઓનો ઉપયોગ કરતા રહ્યાં છે. આ શિરસ્તા સામે દરેક જાગૃત નાગરિકનો ઉગ્ર વિરોધ હોવો જ જોઇએ. પણ સૌથી વધુ વિરોધ તો આ નવા શરૂ થયેલા ટ્રેન્ડ સામે છે-જેમાં જ્ઞાતિના બની બેઠેલા રખેવાળો જ જ્ઞાતિનો ઉપયોગ કરી જાય છે. આ ઘટનાઓ ભયાનક છે, સમાજને વેરણછેરણ કરનારી છે. અમને લાગે છે કે, આવી હરકતો સામે લાલબત્તી ધરવામાં માધ્યમો પણ ઉણાં ઉતરી રહ્યાં છે. નવી શરૂ થયેલી આ પ્રથાને અને આ મહાન કુવિચારને ઉગતો જ ડામી દેવા માટે માધ્યમોનું પ્રદાન અનિવાર્ય છે. માધ્યમો જો આવા દૂષણોને માઇલેજ આપવાનું બંધ કરે તો આપોઆપ તેઓ કદ મુજબ વેતરાઇ જશે. તેમનું કદ મીડિયાએ જ મોટું કર્યુ છે. મીડિયા ન હોય તો તેઓ કશું જ નથી.
જ્ઞાતિવાદ લગભગ દરેક જ્ઞાતિઓમાં વત્તાઓછા અંશે જોવા મળતો હોય છે. પરંતુ અહીં સૌથી વધુ ઉલ્લેખ નરેશ પટેલનો કરવો પડ્યો છે. કારણ કે, તેમણે છેલ્લાં થોડા વર્ષોમાં જ્ઞાતિના નામે ઉપાડો લીધો છે. એમની અંગત મહત્વાકાંક્ષાઓ સાકાર કરવા તેઓ લેઉઆ પટેલ જ્ઞાતિનો નિસરણી તરીકે ઉપયોગ કરી રહ્યાં છે. દુઃખની વાત એ છે કે, પોતાનું કદ મોટું કરવા માટે તેઓ ખોડલધામને માધ્યમ બનાવી રહ્યાં છે.
અમારે કેટલીક મહત્વપૂર્ણ અને સ્પષ્ટ વાતો કહેવી છેઃ
 જ્ઞાતિના નામે ટિકિટો માંગતા અને જ્ઞાતિને અન્યાય થવાનું ગાયન ગાતા દરેક લોકોને પ્રજા જ જાકારો આપે, પછી એ જ્ઞાતિ લેઉઆ-કડવા હોય કે બ્રાહ્મણો હોય કે લોહાણા હોય કે જૈન કે અન્ય કોઇ હોય.
 જ્ઞાતિનાં નામે વ઼્હીપ જારી કરતા લોકોને તંત્ર જ દંડ કરે, સાણસામાં લે અને પગલા ઉઠાવે તેવી અપીલ છે.
 બંધારણએ 18 વર્ષથી વધુના નાગરિકોને સ્વતંત્ર વિવેકબુદ્ધિથી મતદાનનો અધિકાર આપ્યો છે. લોકો જાતે જ નક્કી કરે કે તેઓ કોને મત આપવા માંગે છે. પોતાના જ્ઞાતિબંધુને જ મત આપવો જરૂરી નથી. સામેનો ઉમેદવાર સારો-સ્વચ્છ હોય તો તેને મત આપીએ.
 પ્રજા પણ જ્ઞાતિના નામે ભોળવાય નહિં. શાંત ચિત્તથી વિચાર કરે, સમાજને સ્પર્શતા વિવિધ મુદાઓ જેવા કે, માળખાગત સુવિધાઓ, ભ્રષ્ટાચાર, લાઇટ-પાણી-રોડ રસ્તાઓ, જાહેર આરોગ્ય, સલામતી, કાનૂન અને વ્યવસ્થા વગેરે બાબતે કઇ પાર્ટીનું શું પ્રદાન અને અભિગમ છે એ વિશે વિચારીને લોકો સ્વયં નિર્ણય લે કે તેઓ કોને મત આપવા માંગે છે.
 નરેશ પટેલને સણસણતો જવાબ આપવાનો શ્રેષ્ઠ રસ્તો એ છે કે, બાકીની તમામ જ્ઞાતિઓના વિવિધ મંડળો પોતાની જ્ઞાતિમાં એવો સંદેશ આપે કે, “લોકો પોતાની વિવેકબુદ્ધિથી મતદાન કરે. જ્ઞાતિ જોઇને મત ન આપે.”
છેલ્લી પરંતુ બહુ જરૂરી સ્પષ્ટતાઃ
અમે  કોઇ ચળવળકાર નથી, કોઇ જ્ઞાતિનાં વિરોધી નથી અને કોઇનાં તરફદાર નથી. આ કોઇ ઝૂંબેશ નથી, આ માત્ર એક સંદેશ છે – અમારી લાગણી છે. મારા જેવાં કરોડો લોકો જે વિચારે છે તેને અમે આપ સુધી પહોંચાડ્યું છે. આ વિશે હવે પછી અમે  કોઇ કાર્યક્રમ નથી કરવાનો , સંમેલનોનો તો પ્રશ્ન જ નથી. કોઇ એક લેખ લખીને આ વાત પ્રજા સમક્ષ પહોંચે કે કેમ એ ખ્યાલ નથી પરંતુ સાવ એમ ને એમ બેસી રહેવા કરતા કૈંક કરવું બહેતર છે એમ માની આ લખ્યું છે! હમણાં જ ક્યાંક વાંચ્ય હતું:
“મંઝીલ મિલ હીં જાયેગી ભટકતે હીં સહી, 
ગુમરાહ તો વોહ હૈ જો ઘર સે નીકલે હીં નહિ !”
આ પ્રજાની લાગણી છે, આવું અમે જ વિચારીએ છીએ તેવું નથી. સમાજમાં આવા વિચારોનો વધુ પ્રચાર-પ્રસાર થાય એ જરૂરી છે અને એ માટે અમે  આપ સૌની મદદ માંગીએ છીએ. અમારે જે કહેવું હતું એ કહ્યું છે. હવેની જવાબદારી જાગૃત નાગરિકોની છે, સ્વૈચ્છિક સંસ્થાઓની છે.

-કિન્નર આચાર્ય                                           -નરેશ શાહ 

Sign petiition for Justice to Dr. Divyendu Sinha (murdered)’s Family

Appeal to sign Petition for Justice to Dr. Divyendu Sinha’s Family

Almost two and a half years back Dr. Divyendu Sinha, a computer scientist  was attacked by five teenagers when he was out for an evening stroll with his family in Old Bridge, New Jersey. While his two sons were injured, Divyendu Sinha died due to head injuries after four days.

Volunteers of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) of America (VHPA) have been with the family from day one and are monitoring the cases as they move through the legal system.

There have been inordinate delays in prosecuting the case and the trial of the first defendant, Steven Contreras, driver of the car resulted in acquittal on most serious charge of first degree murder. On one charge that was not resolved by the jury, he was able to obtain a slap on the wrist by pleading guilty to reckless aggravated assault where he would not receive more than four years of prison time.

No trial date has been set for the remaining four defendants and we are concerned that they would be offered a lenient plea deal as well to avoid a trial.  Even if the case goes to trial it will take months as for one or the other reason, this case is relegated to a back seat. (Please see the background of this case below.) Therefore, we need your help now to put enough pressure on the Prosecutor so that he may not bargain away Sinha family’s rights to fair justice through a speedy trial and punishment of the guilty to fit the crime.

Please click on the petition to the prosecutor:

< on the right side where it says Sign this petition, fill out necessary information and click Sign.

 Please circulate this email widely to your contacts and mail groups in USA and all over the world. We cannot bring back Divyendu Sinha but together, through thousands of signature we can compel the prosecutor to strive to get maximum sentence to the perpetrators of this crime.

Thank you.

Gaurang G. Vaishnav



Two and a half years ago, on the night of June 25, 2010, Dr. Divyendu Sinha, 49,was out for a walk with his wife and two sons near his home in Old Bridge, NJ., when they were attacked by four teenagers for no apparent reason. They beat Dr. Sinha with their fists and feet, knocking him to the ground. His two sons were beaten as well. Dr. Sinha succumbed to 

                                                                                                           Divyendu Sinha

                                                                                                                                                                                 Dr. Divyendu Sinha (1961-2010)

his injuries four days later.After beating Dr. Sinha, the four teenagers ran back to the car and fled. They bragged to each other about what they had done and how much they enjoyed it. Julian Daley, 16, Christian Tinli, 18, Christopher Conway, 17, Cash Johnson, 17, along with the driver of the car, Steven Contreras, 17, were charged with murder and other lesser counts.

Earlier this year, on May 8th, 2012, in a verdict that devastated many, including the Sinha family, a jury found the driver of the get-away car, Steven Contreras, Not Guilty of murder, and could not reach a verdict on the count of reckless manslaughter, for which he could be re-tried. Subsequently, he pleaded Guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, and faces up to four years in prison, in a plea bargain with the Prosecutor’s Office.

It has been two and a half years since the murder of Dr. Sinha, and no trial date has been set for the remaining four defendants. We must demand that the trial begin in short order without further delay.

The murder of Dr. Sinha was a heinous crime perpetrated on a good man, a good family man, a good citizen. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1982, authored a number of technical papers in computer science. After teaching stints at Stevens Institute of Technology and at the College of Staten Island, he worked at Siemens, an international electronics and engineering company. His students, business associates, friends and family, have nothing but kind words to describe him, and are devastated by his murder. We must demand that the remaining four defendants be tried for 1st degree murder, convicted and sentenced to life in State prison. Nothing will bring Dr. Sinha back to us, but we must ensure that justice is served on his killers.

Old Bridge, NJ is a suburban town of roughly 66,000, and rarely encounters violent crime. This murder has shaken the town, and its residents are awaiting justice in order to restore their safety and security.


Divyendu Sinha Murder Case:Steven Contreras Pleads Guilty to 2nd Degree charge of “Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault” in a Plea Bargain Deal

Divyendu Sinha Murder Case Update-30 November 28, 2012

 Steven Contreras Pleads Guilty to 2nd Degree charge of “Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault” in a Plea Bargain Deal

1. As part of the plea bargain, Contreras plead guilty to the charge of “Conspiracy to commit Aggravated Assault”, which is a 2nd degree charge.  For purposes of sentencing, he will be sentenced for a 3rd degree charge with a jail term of up to 4 years.  The reasons for this are as follows:

  • The original charge that he was to be tried for is “Reckless Manslaughter” (2nd degree).  However, the plea agreement changed this to “Conspiracy to commit Aggravated Assault” (also 2nd degree), because by pleading guilty to a 2nd degree conspiracy charge, it greatly helps us in establishing the other 4 as co-conspirators in the next trial.
  • Secondly, in order to sentence him to only 4 years max, the charge to be used for sentencing needed to be downgraded to a 3rd degree charge, since 4 years falls below the guideline range for 2nd degree offenses.


Update-30 November 28, 2012  

 November 28, 2012

 Dear Supporters of Sinha Family and Community Members:

Namaste. We communicated to you last on July 9 where we informed you that Steven Contreras, the driver of the car that carried other four defendants in the case of The State of New Jersey Vs. Steven K. Contreras for the murder of Dr.Divyendu Sinha on June 26, 2010 had rejected a plea bargain on June 20 and the court had set September 24, 2012 as the trial date for the charge of Reckless Manslaughter (Count 5C: Steven K. Contreras did recklessly cause the death of Dr. Divyendu Sinha)on which the previous jury was hung. Later that date was changed to November 27, 2012.

Divyendu Sinha

                                                                                                                                                                                              (Dr. Divyendu Sinha 1961-2010)

I had received several email inquiries in last couple of months inquiring about the status of the case. As we did not have firm information and we were expecting further delays, I had not been able to provide any update. In the mean time, I had to go to Bharat for a short visit and returned on 11/26 to be in time for the possible start of the trial.  On that night, the day before the trial was to start, the Assistant Prosecutor, Mr. Christopher Kuberiet called Alkabahen and informed her that Defense attorney, Mr. Abdellah had conveyed to him that Steven Contreras (SC) was ready to accept a plea deal with some modifications. Alkabahen had an urgent meeting with Mr. Kuberiet and it was decided to accept  the guilty plea from SC.

So, yesterday morning we were at the Middlesex Superior Court in the court room of Judge Bardley Ferencz. There were 150 potential jurors waiting downstairs to be called for jury selection. The judge asked counsels from both sides to state their position.

The plea deal was essentially same that the prosecutor had offered on June 20th except that the maximum exposure to jail time was reduced from five years to four years.

Mr. Abdellah went through a series of questions that he asked SC as per the standard procedure. Sc answered yes to the following questions.

  • Were you in the town of Old Bridge on the night of June 25, 2010?
  • Were you driving a vehicle?
  • Were the four defendants (Julian Daley, Christopher Conway, Cash Johnson and Christian Tinli) in your car?
  • Did you agree to go and f*** someone up?
  • Did you understand that f*** someone up meant causing serious bodily injury?
  • were there two incidences (of altercation)? {later on the Assistant Prosecutor corrected this as there were three incidences that night.)
  • Did four persons jumped out from your car (to attack Dr. Sinha and his family)?

                                                                                                     Steven Contreras-2.jpg                                  

                                                                                                                                                                                       Convicted Criminal, driver of the car: 

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Steven Contreras

Then Mr. Kuberiet asked a number of questions to which SC answered in affirmative.

  • There were three incidences and not two?
  • You said you were angry when Mr. Martino escaped from you?
  • you waited for the four defendants with your car lights off?
  • You were aware that there was serious bodily injury being caused?

Then Mr. Abdellah asked SC if he understood the following, to which SC answered Yes:

  • By pleading guilty, you are waving your right to a trial
  • You will have a felony record
  • You lose right to appeal
  • There is a presumption that you will go to jail
  • For 2nd degree Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault , you could be sentenced to 10 years in a state prison with 85% mandatory incarceration
  • The State will recommend to the judge to impose a sentence of no more than 4 years inclusive of all other third degree charges on which you are convicted (there was conviction on six charges.)
  • In exchange of that recommendation you will fully cooperate and testify truthfully on behalf of the State in the trial of four defendants
  • If you fail to cooperate, the Prosecution will ask the judge to cancel the deal and you could be sentenced to the full term (i.e., 10 years)
  • As a youthful offender, you will not go to the State prison
  • You do not have to pay any restitution
  • If you move to another state (during post incarceration probation period), you will need to seek permission from the court
  • Your education history, health history and family history will be evaluated before imposing the sentence
  • If you violate probation after serving your sentence (3 to 4 years), you will have to serve the full term under the law (10 years.)
  • Are you satisfied with my service

SC answered in negative when he was asked if he was coerced, threatened, influenced or promised anything other than what was written in the plea deal.

Then Assistant Prosecutor, Mr. Kuberiet turned to SC and said the following:

  • Very soon, the Judge will proclaim you guilty; do you want to speak with anyone before you plead guilty? SC answered “No.”
  • CK: Were you forced, threatened or otherwise influenced by anyone to plead guilty? SC: No.
  • CK: you can get 7 years if after serving 85% of the imposed sentence, you do not behave.
  • CK; if you do not cooperate in the trial of remaining four defendants, you will get maximum sentence, i.e., 10 years, plus possibly consecutive sentences for all third degree charges on which you were convicted; and you will not be able to ask for a trial.

Now, the Judge, Bradley Ferencz (BF) addressed SC, who stood up to plead guilty.

  • Understand that the plea is between you, your lawyer and the Prosecutor. The Court is not a party to it
  • Once the plea is accepted, it is permanent
  • You have stated that you have spoken to your lawyer
  • That he has answered all your questions
  • That he has served you well
  • That you have read and understood the guilty plea and the deal without any pressure
  • That you have answered all questions honestly
  • That you were not threatened or forced to accept the deal and plead guilty
  • That you are/were not under influence of any drug. alcohol.medicine that would impair your ability to make a decision
  • That you are completely cognizant
  • That the State has asked that you be sentenced to four years in a prison
  • If I accept the plea, you will be sentenced to from 3 to 4 years
  • If I do not accept the plea, I will impose a longer sentence; you can ask for a trial and whatever you said today cannot be used against you in the trial
  • If you do not cooperate with the prosecution (as a part of the plea bargain), the plea stands, that is, you remain guilty and you cannot ask for a trial but your sentence will be increased to up to 10 years plus possibly consecutive sentences for other crimes for which you are already convicted
  • You have to come here for the sentencing. If you do not and run away from the law, they will eventually catch you and you will be looking at 15 years in a state prison.

SC answered yes to each statement indicating that he understood the implications of his decision to plead guilty and consequences of failing to cooperate or failing to appear for sentencing.

The above process lasted about 25 minutes. Then at 10:25 am, the judge announced that he had accepted the negotiated Guilty plea of Steven Contreras. Thus after almost two years and five months to the day, came some relief to Alkabahen, her sons and her well wishers.

With the consent of defense attorney and the Assistant Prosecutor, the judge deferred the sentencing until after the trial of four co-defendants was concluded and decided that SC can stay free in the mean time.

This paves way for  the next trial of four co-defendants, i.e., Julian Daley, Christopher Conway, Cash Johnson and Christian Tinli.


Christian Tinli     Cash Johnson  Christopher Conway Julian Daley   (From top left, anti-clockwise)

It is likely that the trial will start in late January, 2013. We will keep you posted of developments. Let us not lose the focus. We want to work together as a community of law abiding citizens as this effects all- US Citizens, Indian immigrants, Blacks, Whites and Asians as well as people of any religious persuasion. When the trial starts, we will need your support in being present in the court as you did for the first trial.

On behalf of Ms. Alka Sinha and the family, we thank you for your tremendous support.

Gaurang G. Vaishnav

Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA)

Follow Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America at: 

Disclaimer: This is a synopsis of court hearing based on notes taken by me. Not all communications are captured and while I attempt to be as accurate as possible, there may be legal points that could have been missed or misinterpreted. – Gaurang 

These are the third degree charges on which Sc was convicted earlier:

Count 1b (Conspiracy):

Steven K. Contreras did conspire with Julian C. Daley and/or Christian M. Tinli and/or Christopher Conway and/or Cash Q. Johnson to commit the crime of aggravated assault, significant bodily injury, and did an overt act.

Count 3b (Aggravated Assault):

Steven K. Contreras did purposely attempt to cause significant bodily injury to Anthony Martino.


Count 6b (Significant Bodily Injury):

Steven K. Contreras did purposely attempt to cause significant bodily injury to A.S. (Ashish Sinha.)


Count 7b (Significant Bodily Injury):

Steven K. Contreras did purposely attempt to cause significant bodily injury to R.S. (Ravi Sinha.)

Count 8 (Riot):

Steven K. Contreras did participate, within a group of four (4) persons, in a course of disorderly conduct with purpose to commit or facilitate the commission of a crime.

Count 9 (Hindering Prosecution or Apprehension):

Steven K. Contreras with purpose to hinder the apprehension, prosecution, conviction or punishment of another person, that is, 

 Julian C. Daley and/or Christian M. Tinli and/or Christopher Conway and/or Cash Q. Johnson did suppress, by way of concealment or destruction, any evidence of a crime, or tamper with a document or other source of information, regardless of its admissibility in evidence, which might aid in the discovery or apprehension of the said Julian C. Daley and/or Christian M. Tinli and/or Christopher Conway and/or Cash Q. Johnson or in the lodging of a charge against Julian C. Daley and/or Christian M. Tinli and/or Christopher Conway and/or Cash Q. Johnson and/or volunteered false information to a law enforcement officer.


Aggravated Assault on any party, significant. [ X ]

Criminal Mischief [ X ]

UPA boat rocks, averts capsize- FDI in Retail Sector Sandhya Jain

Sandhya Jain

Pioneer, 25 September 2012


India’s freshly-minted millionaire club lost a whopping 18% of its membership as the economic slowdown coincided with the exposure of multiple scams that tripped the gravy train of our crony capitalists. Most citizens would be shocked to learn that despite the global financial crisis ruining millions worldwide, the number of high net-worth individuals in India rose from 84,000 in 2008-09 to 126,700 by 2010 in the halcyon UPA years.


India’s top 100 richest are collectively worth $276 billion, whereas China’s total just $170 billion; also, India’s richest three surpass China’s top 24 billionaires. Amidst a manufacturing slump, economic slowdown and rising unemployment, one wonders how such staggering wealth accumulated in the hands of a chosen few.


As the Supreme Court noted while dealing with Coal-gate, the well-connected in the UPA regime have benefitted unduly from privatisation of public assets. Should the Hon’ble Court take a broader view, it may discern a link between the earlier privatisation of electricity distribution in several cities, which enabled private firms to make massive profits at public expense while taking over public assets for free, and the subsequent allotment of captive coal mines to the same and similar crony firms for sale of power at commercial rates!


The cussed refusal of some firms to redress customer grievances is now upsetting the Delhi chief minister, who thrust electricity privatisation on the capital and championed steeper tariffs without public audit or justification, because state elections are due. It is pertinent that when the British Raj delegated power to Indians, it first gave them charge of municipal services. Surely we must ask if regimes that cannot handle schools, sanitation, water and electric supply are at all legitimate.


Coalmine squatting by private capitalists stunted the growth of the power sector and the economy and denied mines to Coal India Ltd., forcing it to lay off over four lakh skilled workers, ruining their families. CIL is now likely to supervise extraction at the cancelled coal blocks. Government must expedite clearances needed by CIL for its own mines, and scuttle the mischief of subsidizing imported coal for private players.


Last week, the UPA imposed FDI in multi-brand retail, causing Trinamool Congress to quit the Government, and serenading the unpredictable UP stalwarts Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati for survival. Perhaps the Rs. 60 cr spent by Wal-Mart on lobbying in India, as per its disclosure to the US Senate, impacted the decision.


Yet the centre cannot claim that state governments can decide whether or not to allow FDI in their respective states. As several opposition members have argued, under the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPAs) that India has signed, it will have to offer national treatment to investors. This means states will have to permit big retail, or face court cases.


News reports suggest Wal-Mart may come to India within 12 to 18 months. It is notable that its chief Michael Duke may soon be charged under America’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for hundreds of illegal bribes paid by its Mexico division from September 2005 to May 2006, and the subsequent cover-up by successive executives. ANew York Times report says Wal-Mart captured nearly 50 per cent of Mexico’s retail market in 10 years in this manner.


Currently, India’s retail market is estimated at around $400 billion, with over 12 million retailers employing 40 million people. Wal-Mart has a matching turnover of approx. $420 billion, but employs just 2.1 million people. This means 38 million people (families) plus related ancillary traders face disaster.


Executives at Amul, India’s largest dairy cooperative, say FDI will hurt both farmers and retailers. Citing the International Farm Comparison Network, Managing Director R.S. Sodhi says milk producers in America received only 38 per cent share of the consumer’s dollar spent on milk; UK milk producers got 36 per cent. But Indian milk producers get over 70 per cent of the consumer’s rupee; those linked to cooperatives get over 80 per cent.


Worldwide, foreign retail hurts local shopkeepers, farmers and consumers. Farm incomes decline because big retail creates a formidable chain of middlemen – quality controller, certification agency, packaging consultant, who cut into the profits. Consumers are wooed with cheaper rates, but prices rise once the local competition is driven out.


FDI in multi-brand retail does not create backend infrastructure like cold storages to save food grains from rotting. FDI is already allowed in storage, but no investment has been made, even by Indian brands. The Planning Commission has noted that lack of capital forces farmers to ignore cold storage facilities even where they are available, mainly because of high rentals.


The transport of goods from farm to mandi and local markets or processing centres is critical to retail trade. The road transport sector handles nearly 73 per cent of the goods traded and contributes nearly 5 per cent of the GDP. It is an unorganized sector managed with small capital; roughly 18 crore population directly or indirectly depends on it. Big retail always monopolizes transportation of goods and could crush this entire sector.


Then, over 70% of the revenue of big retail stores derives from non-food items; the nature of sourcing and pricing of these items deserves wider study. Also, the UPA has totally ignored the fact that in recent years small retailers have vastly improved their shops and customer services.


In food processing, big retail forces farmers to alter crop selection. Thus, to service potato chip companies, farmers may skip the Dal season, which indirectly affects the prices of Dal, cereals and vegetables. Big buyers often force farmers to reduce prices, face contract cancellation on grounds of ‘quality’, face last minute changes in contracts, and so on. Then, over 90% of India’s farmers have less than 2 hectares of land; 79% are landless or own less than 1 hectare. Large corporates do not like doing business with small producers; they focus on few large farmers and compel the others to submit to a larger contractor or sell the land and quit.


With FDI in retail notified, fresh dangers loom in the form of increased foreign ownership of Indian public sector banks (currently capped at 20 percent); FDI in pensions, insurance, and so on. The very aspects of the Indian economy that gave confidence to the middle class and the poor are set to be undermined.


The author is Editor,

USA: Disappointing Verdict- Dr. Divyendu Sinha Murder Case

Trial Days 13, Monday, May 07, 2012

Middlesex County Superior Court

May 07, 2012


Dear Supporters of Sinha Family and Community Members:

Namaste. The Jury in the case of The State of New Jersey Vs. Steven K. Contreras for the murder of Dr. Divyendu Sinha on June 25, 2010 has   returned the verdict on the 10 count indictment today at 2:10 PM.  It is a very disappointing verdict. Mr. Contreras was acquitted of murder and aggravated charges which would have carried long term sentences and on the alternate count of Reckless Manslaughter, the Jury was hung. He was convicted on each count of Aggravated Assault to cause significant bodily injury on Anthony Martino, Ashish Sinha and Ravi Sinha which are all third degree charges but was acquitted of Aggravated Assault to cause serious bodily injury on Anthony Martino, Ashish Sinha and Ravi Sinha which are all second degree charges. He was also convicted of Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution of others but was acquitted of Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution of himself.

All third degree convictions carry sentence of 3 to 5 years but they (and fourth degree convictions) are considered “presumption of non-incarceration” meaning unless prosecution proves a need for putting the convict in jail, he goes home free. Also, if he is jailed these are what is termed Flat sentences, meaning a three year term actually translates to nine months, a four year term translates to nine months and 26 days and a five year term translates to 13 months in jail.

However, if convicted, Reckless Manslaughter carries from 5 to 10 years compulsory jail term where 85% sentence has to be served before getting a parole.

Since the Jury was hung on the charge of Reckless Manslaughter, the State can retry Steven Contreras on that single count. In coming days the Deputy 1st Assistant Prosecutor Mr. Chris Kuberiet will Consult with Alkabahen Sinha and his boss, Public Prosecutor, Bruce Kaplan to decide next step of action.  Then, there will be a status conference between Mr. Kuberiet, Defense attorney Hassen Abdellah and the Judge Bradley Ferencz on May 25 to decide the sentencing date and parameters of retrial on that single count. We will keep you posted of further developments.

Alkabahen is quite understandably distraught and disappointed as are many of us. However, we have to respect the Jury’s verdict. We do think that the Jury did not want to sentence the young man to a 30 years to life imprisonment that is why in every case it chose to acquit on Serious bodily  injury (which would lead to the natural conclusion of Murder/Aggravated manslaughter) and settled for Significant bodily injury. There cannot be doubt in any mind that Mr. Contreras, who drove the assailants from place to place that night, who let them out of the car to beat up Sinha family, who waited for them to return after the attack and who drove them back to their homes after the attack was equally responsible for the murder of Dr. Divyendu Sinha. One wonders if such criminals have any remorse or pangs of conscience, i.e, if they have any conscience.

We do thank Mr. Kuberiet who presented a very persuasive case and interacted more as a well-wisher of the family then just a prosecutor. We are thankful to Ms. Terry Musso, the Victim Assistance Officer who has remained with Alkabahen and her sons as a shadow all this time to take care of all her emotional needs. We thank the Judge Bradley Ferencz for overseeing the case in a professional manner and giving fair hearing to both the sides. We thank the Jury- though the verdict was not to our liking; we realize that they exemplified sense of public service and duty by giving 17 days of their precious time. We thank The Star Ledger, Home News Tribune, NJ Channel 12 and Verizon FIOS1 for timely and frequent coverage of the trial. While majority of ethnic media was disappointing and did not care to cover such an important trial that has the Indian community shaken, TV ASiA did a good job of frequent trips to the court house and giving updates in its nightly community roundup program. We sincerely thank them and hope that the community will put enough pressure on other ethnic newspapers, radio stations and TV channels who find time for cinema, entertainment as well as many frivolous programs but not for things that matter, to redirect their focus. This is what the community owes to itself, if it wants its voice to be heard.

Finally, we thank dozens of community members, those of Indian origin and of American, who took time off from their work or business and other engagements and attended the trial to be with Alkabahen and lend her and the family moral support. No words can describe the sense of obligation that we feel towards all of them. Several others sent emails from across USA and from India showing their support, concern and encouragement. Many members called to express their sense of solidarity. Alkabahen feels that she is blessed to have such an extended wonderful family.

We are not done yet; we may have this retrial and then the trial of four accused later on. We now know that we can count on you. Please see below the details of the verdict.

Please watch TV Asia, Channel 12 and Verizon FIOS1 in NJ for details. Also The Star Ledger at <> as well as Home News Tribune <>

have details of the judgment.

Please forward this to your contacts.

Thank you.

Brotherly yours,

Gaurang G. Vaishnav

Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA)

Indian American Defense League (IADL)


Blog at <>, Twitter at<!/vicharak1>

Disclaimer: This is a synopsis of court hearing based on notes taken by me. Not all communications are captured and while I attempt to be as accurate as possible, there may be legal points that could have been missed or misinterpreted. – Gaurang 


Dr. Divyendu Sinha (1961-2010)      

 Old Bridge.JPG

                 Mrs. Alka Sinha 

Contreras trial

                   Defendant Steven Contreras, Driver of the car

                                                          (Photo: Courtesy of tThe Star-Leger)

Deputy  First Assistant Prosecutor,

Christopher Kuberiet

05/01/12-Closing arguments take place in the Steven Contreras murder trial in Middlesex County Superior Court in New Brunswick, in the courtroom of Judge Bradley J. Ferencz. B691894914Z.1 KATHY JOHNSON/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

                       Judge Bradley Ferencz

 Defense Attorney,

Hassen Abdellah  

(Courtesy: Patti Sapone/Star Ledger)        


Contreras trial

 Deputy  First Assistant Prosecutor, Christopher Kuberiet, 

Judge Bradley Ferencz, Defense Attorney, Hassen Abdellah

                                                                 (Courtesy: Courier News)                    


                                                                               Judge:  Bradley Ferencz (BF)

                                                                                                   Deputy 1st Asst. Public Prosecutor:

                                                                                                            Christopher Kuberiet (CK)

                                                                                                Defense Attorney: Hassen Abdellah (HA)

                                                                                                     Defendant: Steven Contreras (SC)

========================== ===========================




Steven K. Contreras

Prosecutor No.: 10002581

Indictment No.: 10-11=01628

Count 1:


a.     Steven K. Contreras did conspire with Julian C. Daley and/or Christian M. Tinli and/or Christopher Conway and/or Cash Q. Johnson to commit the crime of aggravated assault, serious bodily injury.


________ NOT GUILTY [X

________ GUILTY [  ]

If you find the defendant not guilty of count 1a, please answer count b. If you find defendant guilty as to count 1a, please move to count 2.


b.    Steven K. Contreras did conspire with Julian C. Daley and/or Christian M. Tinli and/or Christopher Conway and/or Cash Q. Johnson to commit the crime of aggravated assault, significant bodily injury, and did an overt act.


________ NOT GUILTY [  ] 

________ GUILTY [X]

Count 2:


Steven K. Contreras did conspire with Julian C. Daley and/or Christian M. Tinli and/or Christopher Conway and/or Cash Q. Johnson 

to commit the crime of Riot, fourth degree, with the purpose of promoting or facilitating its commission and in pursuance of this conspiracy an overt act was done.


 ________ NOT GUILTY [  ] 

________ GUILTY [X]


Count 3:

Aggravated Assault

a.     Steven K. Contreras did purposely attempt to cause serious bodily injury to Anthony Martino.


________ NOT GUILTY [X

________ GUILTY [  ]


If you find defendant not guilty of 3a, please move to 3b.


b.    Steven K. Contreras did purposely attempt to cause significant bodily injury to Anthony Martino.


 ________ NOT GUILTY [  ] 

 ________ GUILTY [X]


If you find defendant not guilty of 3b, please move to 3c.


c.     Steven K. Contreras did purposely attempt a simple assault on Anthony Martino.


________ NOT GUILTY [  ] 

________ GUILTY [  ]


Count 4:

Criminal Mischief

a.     Steven K. Contreras did purposely or knowingly damage a 2003 Mazda Miata, the tangible property of Manolo Martinez 

and/or Michael Martinez while in the custody of Anthony Martino causing pecuniary loses.


________ NOT GUILTY [X

________ GUILTY [  ]


The amount of the loss proven beyond a reasonable doubt is:

(Please check)

 ______ $2000.00 or more [  ]

 ______ More than $500.00 but less than $2000.00 [  ]

 ______ $500.00 or less  [  ]


Count 5:

a.     Murder


Steven K. Contreras did purposely or knowingly inflict serious bodily injury upon Dr. Divyendu Sinha resulting in his death.


________ NOT GUILTY [X

________ GUILTY [  ]


If you find defendant not guilty of 5a, please move to 5b.


b.    Aggravated Manslaughter


Steven K. Contreras did recklessly cause the death of Dr. Divyendu Sinha under circumstances manifesting 

extreme indifference to human life.

________ NOT GUILTY [X

________ GUILTY [  ]


If you find defendant not guilty of 5b, please move to 5c.


c.     Reckless Manslaughter


Steven K. Contreras did recklessly cause the death of Dr. Divyendu Sinha. 


________ NOT GUILTY [  ] 

________GUILTY [  ] HUNG JURY- Could not come to an agreement

Count 6:

a.     Aggravated Assault


Steven K. Contreras did purposely attempt to cause serious bodily injury to  A.S. (Ashish Sinha.)

________ NOT GUILTY [X

________GUILTY [  ]


If you find defendant not guilty of 6a, please move to 6b.


b.    Significant Bodily Injury


Steven K. Contreras did purposely attempt to cause significant bodily injury to  A.S. (Ashish Sinha.)

 ________ NOT GUILTY [  ] 

________ GUILTY [X]


If you find defendant not guilty of 6b, please move to 6c.


c.     Simple Assault


Steven K. Contreras did purposely attempt a simple assault on  A.S. (Ashish Sinha.)


________ NOT GUILTY [  ] 

________ GUILTY [  ]

Count 7:

a.     Aggravated Assault


Steven K. Contreras did purposely attempt to cause serious bodily injury to  R.S. (Ravi Sinha.)


________ NOT GUILTY [X

 ________ GUILTY [  ]


If you find defendant not guilty of 7a, please move to 7b.


b.    Significant Bodily Injury


Steven K. Contreras did purposely attempt to cause significant bodily injury to  R.S. (Ravi Sinha.)


________ NOT GUILTY [  ] 

________ GUILTY [X]


If you find defendant not guilty of 7b, please move to 7c.


c.     Simple Assault


Steven K. Contreras did purposely attempt a simple assault on  R.S. (Ravi Sinha.)


_________ NOT GUILTY [  ] 

________ GUILTY [  ]

Count 8:



Steven K. Contreras did participate, within a group of four (4) persons, in a course of disorderly conduct with purpose to commit 

or facilitate the commission of a crime.


________ NOT GUILTY [  ] 

________ GUILTY [X]

Count 9:

Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution

Steven K. Contreras with purpose to hinder the apprehension, prosecution, conviction or punishment of another person, that is, 

Julian C. Daley and/or Christian M. Tinli and/or Christopher Conway and/or Cash Q. Johnson did suppress, by way of concealment 

or destruction, any evidence of a crime, or tamper with a document or other source of information, regardless of its admissibility in evidence, which might aid in the discovery or apprehension of the said Julian C. Daley and/or Christian M. Tinli and/or Christopher Conway and/or Cash Q. Johnson or in the lodging of a charge against Julian C. Daley and/or Christian M. Tinli and/or Christopher Conway and/or Cash Q. Johnson and/or volunteered false information to a law enforcement officer.


________ NOT GUILTY [  ] 

 ________ GUILTY [X]


If you find the defendant guilty, please check the offense that the defendant hindered:

______Riot [  ]

______Aggravated Assault on any party, serious. [  ]

______Aggravated Assault on any party, significant. [X]

______Criminal Mischief [X]

Count 10:

Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution

Steven K. Contreras with purpose to hinder his own apprehension, prosecution, conviction or punishment did suppress, by way 

of concealment or destruction, evidence of a crime, or tampered with a document or other source of information, regardless of its 

admissibility in evidence, which might aid in his discovery or apprehension, or in the lodging of a charge against the said 

defendant and/or volunteered false information to a law enforcement officer.


________ NOT GUILTY [X

 ________ GUILTY [  ]


If you find the defendant guilty, please check the offense that the defendant hindered:

______ Riot [  ]

______ Aggravated Assault on any party, serious. [  ]

_______ Aggravated Assault on any party, significant. [  ]

_______ Criminal Mischief [  ]



Dr. Divyendu Sinha Murder Trial Starts in New Jersey Court- Day 1

This week there are three court dates: April 17, 19 and 20 (Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday).

Next week Trial dates are: April 24, 25, 26, and 27 (Tuesday to Friday.)

Time is from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM with one hour lunch break, usually from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM. If you plan to attend, either arrive by 8:45 AM or 1:15 PM at court room #501.  Also keep 10 minutes for security check. Please call me at 732-754-1727 or send email to , if you are coming.

TV Asia will broadcast “Sinha Family’s Fight for Justice” on its Community Round UP orgiram on Tuesday, April 17 at 10:30 PM ET (7:30 PM PT) and again repeat it on Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 PM ET.

April 16, 2012

Dear Supporters of Sinha Family and Community Members:

Namaste.  As mentioned in the previous update, after a long wait of almost 22 months first trial in Dr. Divyendu Sinha’s murder case started on Friday, April 13 at 11:00 AM.  First day ended at 4:00 PM. We had good community support with 20 people filling up two front benches.

The attack on the Sinha family occurred on the night of June 25, 2010 around 11:20 PM. Dr. Sinha died of head injuries on June 28.

Attackers who were indicted by a Grand Jury are: Steven Contreras 18, Cash Q. Johnson, 18, Christian M. Tinli, 19, Christopher Conway, 18, and Julian C. Daley, 17.

While Steven Contreras is being tried separately, trial of the remaining four defendants will tentatively start on July 10.


Dr. Divyendu Sinha (1961-2010)

Case is heard in the Middlesex County Superior Court of Ho. Judge Bradley Ferencz (BF).

For the State:  Middlesex County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Kuberiet (CK).

Defense Attorney: Hassen Abdellah (HA).

State vs. Steven Contreras

Steven Contreras.jpg

    Steven Contretras

Prosecutor File #2010-2581

Indictment: 10-11-01628

There were three components of the first day of the trial of Steven Contreras, driver of the car that took the four assailants to and from the scene of murderous attack on Divyendubhai.

Opening Statement by the Middlesex County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Kuberiet (CK).

Opening Statement by the Defense Attorney, Hassen Abdellah (HA).

Testimony and cross examination of Alkabahen Sinha, wife of late Divyendu Sinha.

Here is a brief summary:

Opening Statement by Christopher Kuberiet (CK):

  • Steven Contreras (SC) and his accomplices’ first victim was Anthony Martina who car was chased into a cul-de-sac because he allegedly cut them off on the road.
  • SC assisted and allowed the others to attack Dr. Sinha.
  • SC heard the screams but neither did ne intervene, nor did he call for help (Police, 911).
  • SC neither respects human life nor the rule of law. At the end of this case, you (jury) will find him guilty of homicide.
  • The crime occurred in front of 6 Fela Dr., Old Bridge (Note: Sinhas live at 25 Fela Dr.)
  • SC made a choice to murder Dr. Sinha.
  • SC chose to associate with and co-conspire with the other defendants.
  • SC chose to stop his car, chose to allow others to leave the car.
  • SC chose to stand by and watch.
  • SC chose to not assist the Sinha family.
  • SC hindered police investigation.
  • SC deleted text messages.
  • SC chose to ignore Alka Sinha’s screams for help.

To the Jury: Your job is to look at the facts and find just cause by application of Law, as will be explained by the Judge, Ferencz.

Judge Bradley Frencez.jpg

Judge Bradley Ferencz

You are sworn to be fair and just in application of Law to both parties, without bias, prejudice or emotion and beyond reasonable doubt.

Here, Mr. Kuberiet gave short life sketch of Divyendu Sinha since his arrival in USA in 1982.

  • Divyendu Sinha went for a walk with his family as many of us do; a walk from which, he never came home.
  • SC went to Wendy’s with Daley, Jonson, Tinli and Daley’s girlfriend, Casey Raymond.
  • Around 11:00 PM, SC, Daley, Johnson, Tinli and Conway left Wendy’s with SC driving.
  • They were allegedly cut off by Anthony Martino, they gave chase but Martino managed to speed away.
  • Julian Daley was giving instructions to SC as he continued the chase.  They cornered Martino in a cul-de-sac at Press Mill Dr. SC blocked the exit with his car.  Still Martino was able to escape. One of the defendants picked up a solar powered light fixture from a nearby lawn and threw at the car. This caused damage worth $2200.
  • SC did not go home after this. He did not drop off Julian Daley at his house nearby on Morning side Dr.
  • They kept driving. Conway points out the Sinhas.
  • SC parks the car and turns lights off.
  • Julian Daley, Christian Tinli, Cash Johnson and Christopher Conway walk up behind Sinhas. Tinley taps Divyendu Sinha on his shoulder and says, “I want to ask a question.” As Sinha turns around, he throws firs punch on his right temple.
  • They attack Divyendu Sinha and his two sons, Ashish (16 years) and Ravi (12 years.)  Then they run to the car and SC drives them off.
  • Alka Sinha goes in ambulance with Divyendu to Raritan Bay Hospital. They are there at 12:05 AM.
  • Dr. Reddy orders Catscan and decides Divyendu Sinha has cerebral Hemorrhage.  Divyendu is transferred to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick.
  • Dr. Michelle Tinti in the Emergency room decides that Divyendubhai’s condition is worsening.
  • On June 28, Doctor Vincent G. declared Divyendu Sinha brain dead.
  • Around same time Martino called Old Bridge police to report the incident with SC and others.  Old Bridge police had interviewed SC on June 26.
  • Old Bridge Police arrested SC on July 1 at 4:00 PM.

Mr. Kuberiet listed 10 indictments against SC. Some of them are:

  1. Conspiracy to commit aggravated assault
  2. Conspiracy to commit riot
  3. Aggravated assault
  4. Property Damage
  5. Murder
  6. Riot
  7. Hindering apprehension/prosecution of others
  8. Hindering one’s own apprehension/prosecution

CK then talked about four theories of culpability. These are: Principal, Accomplice (Aiding and Abetting), Co-Conspirator and Co-Conspirator (Offenses not within the scope of Co-Conspiracy but with reasonable and foreseeable natural consequence of the conspiracy.)

CK listed 34 witnesses whom he plans to call. The list includes doctors who treated Divyendu Sinha, Medical Examiner who performed the autopsy, Police officers and detectives, Mrs. Alka Sinha and Divyendubhai and Alkabahen’s sons, Ashish and Ravi.

CK ended his 50 minute statement asking the Jury to keep open mind, to listen to the witnesses, to evaluate witness credibility and come to court prepared to work and bring logic and not bias, bring intellect and not emotions.

Defense Attorney, Hassen Abdellah (HA)’s Opening Statement:


                                               Hassen Abdellah

  • Kuberiet has blamed SC for the state of mind and conduct of others (4 defendants.)
  • Was SC’s specific intent to murder?
  • Did this young man even physically touched Divyendu Sinha or Martino?  He was behind the wheel.
  • Jury’s intent is to be fair and impartial.
  • SC did not share state of mind or intention of four defendants. He did not share same criminal purpose. There is no proof whatsoever.
  • Weigh police witness’s credibility like any other witness’s.
  • Those police officers were not there; they did not know SC’s state of mind.
  • SC identified the people in his car.
  • Mere presence at the scene of crime is not culpable.
  • Weigh quantity vs. quality of the evidence. Look at the totality of the circumstances.
  • Pay attention to text messages. How many times is SC mentioned?
  • SC is not a murderer. He did not want anyone to engage in the murder.

HA finished his statement in 11 minutes.

Mrs. Alka Sinha on the Witness stand:

Alkabahen was the first witness for the State.


Dr. Divyendu & Mrs. Alka Sinha

Old Bridge.JPG

Mrs. Alka Sinha testifying- Photo Courtesy Jerry McCrea, The Star Ledger 

  • Mr. Kuberiet asked at length questions about Alkabahen’s age, education, when married, where did Divyendubhai worked, what he did at his work, his commute time, his time at home, etc.  Divyendubhai worked as a manager in imaging division of Siemens in Tarrytown, NY, a 70 miles, one way commute. He would come home around 7:30 PM and spend the time with the family. They had been married for 20 years; Alkabahen holds a M.S. in Computer Science.
  • To a question, how would she describe June 25, she said that it was the worst day of her life.
  • Next set of questions was about their movement on that fateful night. They left home at 11:00 PM for a walk. CK asked about relative positions of all four members of the family; i.e., whether they were in one line or behind each other, in what group formation, distance between each of them, etc.
  • Alkabahen was asked as to what they were taking while on the walk. It was a typical talk about upcoming barbeque and younger son Ravi’s robotics summer class in which he wanted help form his father.
  • Then, CK asked Alkabahen to narrate the minutes before the attack, attack and minutes after the attack.
  • They were on their return leg, when they heard footsteps following them, which was quite unusual.  They decided to walk faster to their home (only a few hundred feet away.)  Then one of the assailants taped Divyendubhai on the shoulder and said, “I want to ask you a question.” As Divyendubhai turned around that person (later identified as Christian Tinli) punched him above his right ear. Divyendubhai moved with the force and then all of them started throwing punches and kicking. They punched Ashish and Ravi and went around taking turns. Alkabahen started screaming for help. By now Divyendubhai was lying on the grass at 6 Fela Dr. trying to protect his head with his forearm. He asked them why they were beating him.  Suddenly the attackers realized that the family they had attacked was neighbors to a fried of theirs. So they all ran to a dark color car (that of SC) which was parked at the corner of Fela and Nathan. There was joy of accomplishment as they ran towards the car.
  • Alkabahen and Ashish supported Divyendubhai as they wanted to reach their home but after only a few steps, Divyendubhai was limping on the left side and could not walk further; Ravi was complaining of dizziness. Alkabahen set down on the curb at the corner of Fela and Raven with Divyendubhai’s head in her lap. He was complaining that his head was hurting and he asked Alkabahen to take him home.  Ashish, the elder son called their next door neighbor’s elder son, Brian Sousso, and 911.  Brian came and called a neighborhood doctor, Jamey Vuy (name not clear). Dr. J. brought water and juice for Divyendubhai but he could not drink. Dr. J. put his jacket around Divyendubhai to keep him warm.
  • Then the police and ambulance came. They decided to take Divyendubhai to Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge which was the nearest facility. Alkabahen arranged for Ravi to be taken care of by wife of Dr. J. and she asked Brian to take Ashish to a hospital for treatment of cuts and bruises on his face. Alkabahen accompanied Divyendubhai to the hospital.
  • Time elapsed between the attack and reaching hospital was about 20 minutes. At the hospital, initially Divyendubhai was able to describe the attack, but soon his response time started getting longer. He could not move his limbs on the left and then on the right upon doctor’s instructions. His speech was not clear.  Raritan Bay Medical Center does not have a trauma center so Divyendubhai was transferred to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital (RWJ) in New Brunswick around 3:00/3:30 AM.  Alkabahen was waiting outside in the emergency room for 30 to 45 minutes while Divyendubhai was inside.  When she saw him, he could not communicate and he could not see her. He was (close to) brain dead. He was transferred to ICU room.
  • To a question from Mr. Kuberiet, Alkabahen said that Divyendubhai never left RWJ and he never came back to his home from that walk.
  • While at the hospital for three days (Divyendubhai was declared brain dead on June 28 early morning.). Alkabahen did speak to Detective Morris and Paul Miller. Alkabahen did not give a statement to the police until July 10, 2010 as she was not in a position to do so.
  • To another question, she replied that they had never known the assailants and that there was no bad blood between them and her family. She also said that they did not fight back when the guys attacked them.
  • After her deposition, Mr. Kuberiet showed her several aerial photos of the crime scene and neighborhood which she identified and signed so that these could be introduced as exhibits in the trial.
  • Defense Attorney HA asked only a couple of questions mainly insisting that the photos she had identified were taken in day light (presumably to stress that the crime took place at night.)

Alkabahen was on the stand for 90 minutes. She faced the reliving of the painful and horrendous memory with courage and bravery. She was composed most of the time, though she did breakdown a couple of times, which is but natural.   The Judge called it a day at the end of Alkabahen’s testimony.

We know that the whole society, Indian Americans as well as Americans are with her in her quest for justice.  Please also visit our web site; you may also leave your thoughts there.

You may also see newspaper reports at: and

Please forward this to your contacts and encourage them to attend the trial.

Thank you.

Brotherly yours,

Gaurang G. Vaishnav

Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA)

Indian American Defense League (IADL)


Blog at <>, Twitter at<!/vicharak1>

Court Address, Directions and Parking Information:

Middlesex County Superior Court

56 Paterson Street, Fifth Floor (Judge Ferencz’s Court Room)

New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2014

(732) 519-3200 ‎

Click for Directions

The court is on the fifth floor. Look for the Judge Bradley Ferencz’s court room (Go to the Right from the elevator).

Paid Parking (very reasonable rates) is available at several locations.

Ferren Deck on Church Street is most convenient, as you can access the court house by following signs (third floor) from the parking deck itself.

For GPS and MapQuest directions to Ferren Deck, use

180 Church Street

New Brunswick, NJ 08901 or click here.

 (If you are coming off Rte. 18 and going South on Rte. 27, Turn left at light for Nelson St., then first right on Church St. Go through one traffic light and one stop sign and turn right into Ferren Deck parking. Access to the Court House is from the third floor with clear signage.)

On street parking with meters is available but very difficult to find. For free on street parking, one has to walk several blocks; it is generally available on side streets off Livingston Ave., west of Suydam street (15-20 minutes walk).

If you care coming by train (NJ transit), it is only five minute walk from the New Brunswick station. (Across Rte. 27/French St., enter Feren Mall and go to third floor, follow signs for Middlesex Superior Court.)

Disclaimer: This is a synopsis of court hearing based on notes taken by me. Not all communications are captured and while I attempt to be as accurate as possible, there may be legal points that could have been missed or misinterpreted.- Gaurang 


Dr. Divyendu Sinha Murder Trial to start in Middlesex County Superior Court in New Jersey Today- Appeal for Community Support

Dear Supporters of Sinha Family and Community Members:

Namaste. Those in New Jersey may have seen Alkabahen Sinha’s interviews in the Star Ledger and Home News Tribune (Reproduced below.) Many of you may have seen front page article on the upcoming trial in India Abroad. As you know, Dr. Divyendu Sinha, husband of Alkabahen was assaulted by four teenagers on the night of June 25, 2010 in front of his house in Old Bridge, NJ when he was out for a walk with his wife and two sons. He succumbed to his injuries three days later. 

Yesterday, TVAsia had a brief interview of Mrs. Manisha Muzumdar, a close friend of Alkabahen and myself. This will appear in TVAsia’s Community Round Up program today (April 10) at 10:30 PM EDT 97:30 PM West Coast) and again on Community Round up on April 11 at 7:30 PM EDT.

                                                                                                                                      Dr. Divyendu Sinha  was a Life Member of VHPA

Both India Abroad and TVAsia will cover the trial. As mentioned in previous email, Jury selection begins today and it is expected that the jury will be in place by end of Wednesday. If that happens then the  opening statement will be made on Thursday, April 12. Soon after that Alkabahen will be testifying. We encourage you to be preset at that time to show your moral support to Alkabahen at that most difficult moment of relieving the nightmare. We will be updating the web site, on daily basis. Please consult it before making your plans and also to update yourself with the progress of the case. In the middle of the trial, the younger son of Sinhas, Ravi will testify and almost at the end of the trial, older son, Ashish will testify. You should plan to at least attend during those times. The trial is expected to last from two to three weeks.

You may send twitter to <!/vicharak1> to get details, if you do not find it on <>.We will try to respond. Space is limited in the court room, so it will be useful, if you will let us know your plans in advance.
We are looking for strong support from the Indian as well American community; we also hope that all media will proactively cover the trial in spirit of community service.
Thnak you.
Gaurang G. Vaishnav

 Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA)

Indian American Defense League (IADL)

Cell: 732-754-1727

Twitter at<!/vicharak1>, 

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follow Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America at <>

Courtesy: Star Ledger

Widow of Old Bridge beating victim plans to testify

Published: Sunday, April 08, 2012, 11:00 AM     Updated: Sunday, April 08, 2012, 2:41 PM
John O’Boyle/The Star-LedgerAlka Sinha whose her husband,
Divyendu, died in June 2010 after a beating, allegedly by four
teenagers. The background is a photo of her husband that was
used in a candlelight vigil.

OLD BRIDGE — When asked about her husband of 20 years, she cries.

“I relied on him to do everything,” she said.

And now, with two sons to raise, and two emotional trials looming, she misses him even more.

While on a stroll with his family late on a warm June night in Old Bridge in 2010, Divyendu Sinha, a 49-year-old computer scientist, was attacked near his Fela Drive home by five local teenagers in a night of senseless “wilding,” authorities say.

His wife and children watched in horror as four of the teens assaulted Sinha with their fists and feet, prosecutors said. The teens also are charged with attacking one of Sinha’s sons.

Before the night ended, Sinha was on life support at a New Brunswick hospital — while the teens bragged about the attack in text messages, investigators said. As Sinha fought for his life, the teens were arrested and charged with the beating. When he died four days later, the charges were upgraded to murder.

One of those teens, Steven Contreras goes on trial Tuesday — the first of two trials in the case.

Until now, Alka Sinha — who will testify for the prosecution — had not granted any interviews since the days immediately following the attack.

Sitting in her family room, next to a picture of her husband on an 8-foot poster that was displayed during his memorial service, Alka Sinha, 47, said the past 22 months have been a nightmare. She has attended every court hearing involving the five teenagers — Contreras, Cash Johnson, Julian Daley, Chris Conway and Christian Tinli. She wants justice for her husband.

Widow looking forward to getting justice
Widow looking forward to getting justice“I’m looking forward to getting justice”.
Alka Sinha talks about her husband, Divyendu, who died in June 2010 after a
beating, allegedly by four teenagers. (video by Sue Epstein and John O’Boyle)Watch video

“What I have lost, I will never be able to gain that again,” she said. “The void I have and my children have, it will always be there. Maybe one day, whatever is left in my life, I can move on with that.”

In the days after the attack, friends told her to take it “one day at a time,” Sinha said, “and I am following that advice, but it is very hard. There are a lot of decisions to make, decisions about the children, about finances, about the house.

“We made big decisions together, but he handled even the small things,” she said.

Sinha said her sons, Aashish, 18, and Ravi, 14, are pillars of support for her. One of the boys was injured in the beating, but not seriously, authorities said.

“They are very strong and they support me when I grow weak,” she said. “I’m glad they are very focused on their education. It is what their father wanted.”

When asked to describe her husband, Sinha began to cry quietly. Eventually, the words came out, slowly at first, but then more easily.

“He was the most wonderful person, such a loving and caring husband and father,” she said.

They moved to their Old Bridge neighborhood 18 years ago “because it was a nice, quiet, diverse neighborhood.”

“Before the incident, I never thought it could happen in this neighborhood,” Sinha said. “We felt secure and safe.”

She will be a witness at this week’s trial and at the second trial of the other four teenagers, scheduled for July 10. She said simply, “I am looking to get justice.”


file photosTop row from left, Cash Johnson, 17, and Christian Tinli, 18,
and bottom row from left, Julian Daley, 16, and Chris Conway, 17
are four out of the five defendants in the Old Bridge slaying case.
A photo for Steven Contreras, 17, was not available.

She said she has drawn strength from her neighbors and members of the Old Bridge community who have helped her since “minutes after the incident.”

“From the little things to the biggest thing, they are always there for me,” she said.

Gil Derose, who lives across the street on Fela Drive, and Nick Ricciardi, who lives down the road, said they plan on attending the trial in New Brunswick before Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz. Neither witnessed the attack on their neighbor.

Derose said his sons knew of the five teenagers charged with the murder, four of whom were star athletes at Old Bridge High School.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “When we found out who (was arrested), I couldn’t believe they were high school kids here, local kids who were athletes.”

Ricciardi said his initial reaction to the attack and Divendyu Sinha’s death was “sadness for Alka and the boys and anger that these were neighborhood kids” who were arrested and charged.

Contreras is being tried separately because he implicated the other four in a statement he gave to investigators within days of the attack. Authorities said Contreras, who was 17 at the time, told investigators that, after a night of drinking that included several bottles of malt liquor, they went cruising, looking for someone to fight. Contreras denied he had been drinking.

Their last stop of the night was Fela Drive, where one of the teens saw what he thought were kids about 11:25 p.m. The “kids” turned out to be Sinha and his family.

Contreras told investigators Conway, Johnson, Daley and Tinli got out of the car and went after the group. Seconds after the attack, the four came running back and told him to leave. Contreras said he never saw the Sinha family, because he had stayed near the car.

The five teens are charged with murder and conspiracy in connection with Sinha’s death. They are also charged with assaulting a motorist a short time before the attack on Sinha.

Courtesy: Home News Tribune

Jury selection begins this week in trial of 1 of 5 accused in beating death of Old Bridge man

5:31 PM, Apr. 6, 2012  |
Divyendu Sinha
Divyendu Sinha
Written by
Gene Racz
Staff Writer
MIDDLESEX COUNTY — Alka Sinha said her life, and the life of her family, has been turned “upside down” since her husband was fatally beaten by a group of five teenagers as the family took an evening stroll near their Old Bridge home nearly two years ago.

Jury selection will begin on Tuesday in Superior Court, New Brunswick, in the trial of one of those defendants, Steven K. Contreras, charged with murdering Divyendu Sinha, a 49-year-old computer scientist whose two sons, ages 16 and 12 at the time, also were assaulted.

Contreras, who will turn 19 on April 21, is being tried separately because of statements he made to authorities during the investigation that implicated the other four defendants, who are scheduled to stand trial for murder on July 10.

Prosecutors said Sinha was walking outside his home on Fela Drive, near Route 9, on June 25, 2010, when the group of Old Bridge High School students pulled up in a car and beat him and his sons. Alka was not harmed in the incident, but Sinha died three days later from a head injury suffered during the assault. Authorities said no weapons were used.

“He was a wonderful person to his family, to friends — a wonderful father and actually a mentor to our kids,” Alka said on Friday. “We used to do things together as a family. We used to wait for him come back from work and do different things, whether it was general discussion on current affairs or going to see something with the children. Those things are not there anymore.

“You cannot imagine how it has affected our children.”

The five defendants also are charged with assaulting Anthony Martino, 18, of Old Bridge, a motorist who was attacked minutes before the assault on Sinha and his sons.

Steven K. Contreras

Steven K. Contreras
 The other four defendants in the case are Cash Q. Johnson, 18, Christian M. Tinli, 19, Christopher Conway, 18, and Julian C. Daley, 17. All defendants are residents of Old Bridge and were either 16 or 17 at the time of the assault.

Prosecutors severed Contreras’ trial from the other four defendants because, during the trial, his statements might contain information about the other -defendants who then would have a right to call Contreras as a witness to contradict the statements or cross-examine him. That would be in direct conflict with Contreras’ Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Contreras’ lawyer, Hassen Abdellah, could not immediately be reached for comment.

An earlier Family Court decision allowed the five defendants to be tried as adults, and each faces 30 years to life if convicted of murder.

“I want justice,” Alka said. “We live in a society where we have a justice system that works. I believe in our justice system and I’m looking forward to getting justice. We have gotten a lot of support from all around — in that way I’m blessed. I’m just looking forward to having the similar kind of support for the upcoming days.”

Nikhil Muzumdar said his family was very close with the Sinhas, whose children, he said, were about the same age as his. The families vacationed together.

“We’re close family friends, and this was a real loss for us,” Muzumdar said. “He was a real kind and very caring man, and he always wanted to help others in everything that he did. He helped his students — they have a lot of good things to say about him and have shown a lot of support to Mrs. Sinha.”

Alka said her husband had started teaching computer science at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken and also taught at the College of Staten Island in the City University of New York (CUNY). Divyendu, who was raised in Patna, India, according, held doctorates in philosophy and computer science.

Authorities said the 11-count grand jury indictment was handed up following an investigation that revealed no evidence that the attack on Martino, the attack on Sinha and his family, or the subsequent plan to assault another victim, was motivated by the victims’ race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or ethnicity, as required by New Jersey’s Bias Intimidation Law.

In addition to murder, the grand jury charged the five defendants with various counts of aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. Additionally, the grand jury accused the defendants of riot and a related count of conspiracy, contending they acted as a group to commit crimes.

The five also were charged with two counts of hindering for trying to protect themselves and each other from prosecution by concealing evidence or misrepresenting facts about the attacks.

Along with the assault charges, the grand jury also charged the defendants with criminal mischief for damaging the car that was being driven by Martino.

Judge Bradley J. Ferencz will preside over Contreras’ trial.

“What happened was a real tragedy and I wouldn’t wish it to happen to even our worst enemy,” Muzumdar said. “It really completely destroyed a lot of things here in our day-to-day lives and we miss him a lot.”

Elected Chief Minister’s Visa is not private matter Mr. Consul General (DeshGujarat)

Elected Chief Minister’s Visa is not private matter Mr. Consul General

March 21, 2012   

File photo:Consul General Peter Haas with Gujaratis at Mumbai consulate

By DeshGujarat News, Ahmedabad, 20 March 2012

Again US Consul General was in Gujarat, and again he was asked a question about Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s Visa issue, and again he had the same answer that “we don’t comment on personal visa matters.”

Once upon a time there was a practice that American Consul Generals would meet Gujarat Chief Minister during their Gujarat visit, but for last some years Modi doesn’t give time to meet US Consul Generals and divert them to meet the Chief Secretary. Present Consul General Peter Haas is not exception.

While Chinese, Japanese and other consulate officials can meet the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the American Consul General are avoided, thanks to America’s policy of succumbing to pressure and propaganda of leftist anti-Indian groups lobbying against Narendra Modi in America.

“Its a long-standing US policy… We do not comment on private visa matters,” Haas said when asked if there was any change in the US policy with regard to granting of visa to Modi.

(Mr. Haas should know that it could be private visa matter for America, but for Gujarat, Mr. Modi is not a person living private life but he is in public life. He is the Chief Minister of a state, elected by over five crore people)

Talking about relations between US and Gujarat, Haas said that there was good cooperation and many American companies have set up plant in the state.

The relationship of US with Gujarat can be judged on the basis that Gujarati was the first Indian regional language to be included in the US Census, he said.

During his last visit to Ahmedabad, Mr. Haas was asked that while people to people relations are excellent, and trade relations between America and Gujarat are in the best time-phase at present, why government level relations are sour, and what America wants to do in this regard? Haas had replied that question, saying that he met the Chief Secretary of the state, and people to people relations were more important.

While Mr. Modi’s stature is growing nationally and internationally, America is likely to face major embarrassment over Visa issue in future. Such embarrassment is always visible on Consul General’s face when he faces question on Modi’s Visa issue.

It is other thing that nobody is dying to go to America and Modi had not demanded visa, but the way America behaved on Modi’s Visa issue under the pressure of few vocal groups in 2005 and then-after, funnily in the name of ‘human right violation’, it is neither forgettable nor forgivable, at least when it comes to state-state relations.


The US Consul General during his Ahmedabad visit, went to a residential colony of 2002 riot affected Muslims and also met Archbishop in Gandhinagar. He also went to Adalaj stepwell and Sidi Saiyad mosque wearing Islamic skull cap. The Consul General visited DAIICT campus in Gandhinagar, met state minister Saurabh Patel, visited Bhadrakali mandir in Amdavad, American company Inductotherm in Bopal, and American corner at Ahmedabad Management Association.

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