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Indian Origin British Tourist Strangulated to Death in Thai Hotel August 24, 2019 17:10

An Indian origin British native was strangulated to death at a Thai hotel when he told another guest to lower their voice as his wife and son were trying to sleep, according to a statement by his family. The 34-year-old Amitpal Singh Bajaj, from London, was lodging at the five-star Centara Grand Hotel in Phuket with his family when he complained about noise from the next room, according to a report by BBC. According to Bajaj’s family, a man forced his way into their room through the balcony on Wednesday and strangled Bajaj. In a statement on Friday, Bajaj's wife Bandhna Kaur Bajaj said: "My husband sacrificed his life to save my son's life and mine. He will always be our hero."She told how the attacker "barged" into their room naked and "just started charging at my husband". "My husband tried to block the man and move me and my (two-year-old) son away. As the man was kicking, punching and just, beating him up, my husband told me to please leave and save our son," she added in her statement.As soon as the police were informed about the incident, they reached the scene. Bajaj was confirmed dead at the Patong hospital. The United Kingdom Foreign Office confirmed the incident and the Norwegian Foreign Ministry states that Norwegian citizen has been taken into custody in Thailand and is being provided consular assistance.By Sowmya Sangam

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Meet Indian Origin Gurtej Sandhu, the Biggest Indian Inventor Alive August 22, 2019 17:17

An Indian origin scientist Gurtej Sandhu of Boise, Idaho in the United States has received nearly 1,300 patents, outdoing inventor Thomas Edison who died with 1,084 patents to his name.  Born in London to Indian parents, the 58-year-old Sandhu is seventh on the list of most prolific inventors in the world. He is a Senior Fellow and the Vice President of Micron Technology.Before moving to the United States to pursue a doctorate in physics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sandhu did his graduation in electrical engineering from IIT Delhi. Read: Indian Origin Researcher Gets $3.3 Mn Grant to Tackle Battery WasteAt the time when he was looking for employment, Sandhu received two job offers - One from the Texas Instruments, the top American computer memory maker at that time and other from Micron Technology, an 11-year-old start-up in Boise making every effort against government-subsidized memory-chip makers in Japan and other countries, the Idaho Statesman reported. Sandhu chose to work with the smaller company Micron on the advice of his professor and mentor. At Micron, Sandhu gained his first few patents where he worked to sustain Moore’s Law and improving how many memory units could be filled up into these chips. Ever since his inventions have been incessant.                         (Image source from: The Universal News Network)From that time chip manufacturers, mostly technically owned by Micron around the globe, have made use of Sandhu's patents. Sandhu increased his patents list with the arrival of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, self-driving cars, and Internet of Things (IoT) and there has been no lack of innovation for Sandhu to experiment with. Sandhu said: “being an Indian citizen settled in Boise comes with challenges. American-born citizens sometimes think he’s Arab. He once asked a group of students to guess where he was from; one said Japan. The U.S. is more insular compared to any other nations.” “After 9/11, a woman in Boise saw him driving his black SUV, wearing his turban, a symbol of his faith. She called the police. Nothing came of the call,” Sandhu said. In some countries, he said, such a report may have led to intimidation or extortion, it said.“The reality is there is no place in the world, no society, where a minority does not feel uncomfortable,” he told the publication. “But I’ll tell you: Today, the best place for any minority to live in any society is the United States. … In terms of basic fairness, still, there’s nothing matching this country.” We can beyond any doubt say that Gurtej Sandhu is certainly the biggest Indian inventor alive.By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian American Student Drowns in Crater Lake in Oregon August 22, 2019 15:49

A 27-year-old Indian American student has drowned after jumping off from a popular recreation spot at the Crater Lake in Oregon. Sumedh Mannar jumped off the "Jumping Rock" on Sunday around 4:40 p.m. (local time) and did not came to the surface, Marsha McCabe, a spokeswoman for Crater Lake National Park, was quoted as saying by the Oregonian newspaper. McCabe said a graduate student at the Oregon State University had jumped from was about 25 feet high. She further said the cliff was not a prohibited area for jumping. The officials have not yet determined exactly why he drowned.The average temperature of the lake is about 3 degrees, but in summers, the surface of the lake warms up to about 15 degrees Celsius. Swimming is only permitted in the area along the shore of Wizard Island and around Cleetwood Cove.                        (Image source from: KDRV)As soon as people at the scene realized Sumedh Mannar disappeared, they threw a life ring into the water, and Crater Lake hospitality staff took a small boat out to the area to help search, she said.Read: Indian Youngster Drowns in Ukraine RiverThough the Park staff came to the scene to help with the search, the choppy waters and poor clarity conditions made the search difficult.Officials called off the search for the night after continuous three hours of search operation and no sign of Mannar. The searching resumed Monday morning. Divers on Monday morning dove in the last known spot where Mannar had been seen and located him about 90 feet straight down in the water on a rock ledge. Beyond that point, the lake drops off dramatically to a depth of more than 1,200 feet.Sumedh Mannar's body was transported to Klamath Falls.By Sowmya Sangam

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American Airlines Names Priya Aiyar as Senior Vice President August 20, 2019 11:40

American Airlines Group has hired an Indian American Priya Aiyar as the senior Vice President and General Counsel. She succeeds Paul Jones, who retired from American earlier this year.Aiyar, a former Obama administration official, holds a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School, a master’s degree from the University of Oxford, and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.“We are thrilled to welcome Priya to American Airlines,” said Steve Johnson, American’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs on August 5. “Priya is an outstanding lawyer and an extraordinary intellect, and her strategic perspective, integrity, energy, unique experience, passion for the law, and demonstrated ability to build and inspire teams make her the perfect person to lead our legal strategy and the team over the coming years. We remain focused on evolving our culture and attracting the best and brightest to American and, in both respects, we could not have found a better person.”Read: American Airlines Leave Special-Needs Kids Stranded at Airport Aiyar’s will be the lead of the the major a major American airline’s Legal Affairs team and its legal strategies, including company’s corporate governance, securities, and corporate finance, business and commercial, litigation, competition and antitrust, compliance, privacy, environmental, employment, and intellectual property legal issues and work.“We are enormously proud of what Paul and our terrific legal team have accomplished,” Johnson added. “I’m looking forward to working with Priya to build on that American work and take us to the next level.”                         (Image source from: The Rhodes Project)Aiyar joins American from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, where she has been a partner and brings more than 18 years of government and private sector experience. She served as Acting General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Department of the Treasury as well as Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Energy. Aiyar occupied senior legal roles within the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Federal Communications Commission and was a partner at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel PLLC. She began her legal career as an employee to Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court.By Sowmya Sangam

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NRI Finally Returns Home After Long Legal Battle in Saudi Arabia August 19, 2019 18:53

A Non-Resident Indian hailing from Telangana who was accused of forging Iqama, a resident visa, returned home recently after battling for justice for three years in Saudi Arabia. The 68-year-old Gandam Narsaiah originally from Chandurti Mandal in Rajanna Sircilla district in Telangana state, was working as a mason in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After working with a company for three years, he switched to a new firm. He was then issued updated Iqama with new employer name. As part of a routine drive, on one occasion Narsaiah was checked by a patrolling team in Riyadh and they discovered that the Iqama was forged. Following this, he was shifted to a jail in Dammam, 400 km away from Riyadh, since the alleged Iqama had been issued from Dammam. While in prison, as Narsaiah fell ill he was then bailed out by prominent social worker Nass Vokkam of Kerala three years ago. Since then, Narsaiah’s accommodation was looked after by Nass. With the assist of Nass, Narsaiah proved that he was a dupe who had received the Iqama from an Egyptian who had offered him the job. It took almost three years to turn out that Narsaiah was guiltless. The charge sheet was examined by various departments of the Saudi government who eventually permitted him to leave the Kingdom. Since Narsaiah could not afford the air tickets, Al Rabia Polyclinic, which is run by Kerala origins, offered him a ticket to coming back to his native. By Sowmya Sangam

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Watch: Journalist Jumps into Violent Protest to Save Indian Tricolor August 19, 2019 11:26

An Indian origin journalist is being acclaimed as a shining example of a patriotic after she valiantly saved Indian flag from getting ripped and battered. A video of Poonam Joshi that has gone viral shows her darting into the middle of violent protests outside the India High Commission in London last week to retain the Tricolour from a group of pro-Pakistan and pro-Khalistan activists who had ripped the flag into three pieces and was beating it with a shoe. Joshi grabbed the national flag from the protesters even as eggs, glass bottles and several objects were being hurled at her and other people of Indian origin who were celebrating Indian Independence Day. Read: ‘Modi: Make Tea Not War’: Protests Outside Indian Mission in UK British Pakistanis and pro-Khalistan Sikhs arrived in London in hordes to protest against the Indian government’s decision to revoke special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The protest, which initially begun unruffled in no time turned violent and riot police had to be called. (Image Source: Swarjya) London-based Joshi, reporting for ANI, recalled seeing a Sikh man rush from the side where the pro-Indian crowd was being kept behind barricades, holding the Tricolour. “We could see he was rushing to the Pakistani side, and they tried to grab him,” she said. “He quickly threw the folded flag at them. He then merged into the Pakistani side of the crowd, and the police did not allow the Indians on the other side to go after the guy. He was a very young Sikh man, wearing a white T-shirt with the words ‘Satnam Waheguru’ in between a picture of an AK-47.” Joshi next saw "a very large man coming to the front in a black hoodie and colored sunglasses, and he was holding our flag and he had a Sikh bangle on his left hand". She added: "He started unfolding the flag, and mocking and instigating and provoking the Indian side. I saw him tear the flag into two with his hands and then throw it on the ground, and then he started beating it with a shoe. Another guy, a bearded Pakistani, started crushing it under his shoes. He was mocking the Indians, saying ‘Look at what I am doing to your flag? Come and get it?’” (Image Source: BizAsia) Police officers shouted at Joshi not to cross the barricades. But she refused and darted towards where the Tricolour was being treated with disrespect. “My blood was boiling. It was just instinctive. I ran to grab the flag from him, and at this point, one part was in his hand and one part under the shoe of the Pakistani. I snatched it from under the shoe and his hand. A tiny part of the flag was left on the ground, which I retrieved later on,” she said. Open Letter to London Mayor (Image Source: Sputnik International) On Sunday, Joshi wrote an open letter to London mayor Sadiq Khan, which she also posted on Twitter. The letter says Khan let down the Indian community and that the “limited police resources” provided to handle the protest was shocking, more so because "the authorities had full knowledge of the scale of the protest”. Along with the letter, she posted three pictures of the men who she says “stole, mutilated and insulted” India’s national flag. “We demand the arrest and prosecution of these goons by the Met Police. These hooligans pose a huge threat not just to the Indian community but to anyone living in the UK and they are supported by MPs and councilors,” she wrote. Joshi said she was planning on filing a police complaint about the incident after consulting the high commission. “The reason I have put an open letter to Sadiq Khan is to demand answers of him,” she added. “Millions agree with my sentiments. The intention of these protesters is not to protest for peace in the Valley but to cause destruction.” A Met Police spokeswoman said: “We have no information about any flag incident. She needs to report to us, and not just put it on social media. We had an appropriate number of public order officers on the ground and an experienced command team monitoring events. This is the same as we have for all public order events.” By Sowmya Sangam

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Racist Passenger Yells at Indian for Speaking in Hindi, Conductor Kicks Her off the Train August 14, 2019 16:22

A train ticket collector in New Zealand is garnering a whole lot of compliments after she asked a passenger to get off the train midway as she passed racist comments at an Indian origin co-passenger who was communicating in Hindi on his cellphone, NZ Herald reports.  The incident happened last week on the train that was traveling to Upper Hutt from the Wellington Railway station.The young girl who was also traveling on the same train as the Indian passenger wasn't quite pleased. Subsequently, she began shouting at the Indian. As soon as the conductor overheard the girl behaving badly with the Indian passenger, she was asked to get off midway."A young girl, about 16, was yelling at a passenger and saying, 'Go back to your country, don't speak that language here'. She said she was getting off at the next stop, and the conductor said, 'No you can get off at this one, I'm not putting up with that nonsense'," the witness was quoted as saying by Checkpoint.JJ Phillips, the conductor, called the police after the young girl refused to get off the train. "Well, I'm not getting off the train then," the girl had said, as per the witness. Other passengers, in fact, we’re delighted that the conductor took a stand and wasn’t bothered about the fact that the train stopped midway for around 20 minutes."A lot of us had turned around and were watching the situation unfold. Everyone was over the moon she decided to do that and stand up to that behavior. We were just in awe that she (conductor) had the courage to say, 'This isn't on and I'm not going to put up with it, no matter who you are and whether you're a paying customer or not - you can get off the train and find your own way home'," the witness added.Read: UK Sikh MP Backs British Politician’s Tweet Criticizing Indian Govt.According to the report in NZ Herald, the Indian origin passenger was taken aback after the incident. While speaking about the incident, the conductor told NZ Herald that she was alerted about the incident by another passenger."Just as I was walking through getting the tickets, one passenger raised a concern with me, so I went to where this particular passenger was. She was a teenage girl and she was hurling abuse at some passengers, and the passengers who were receiving the abuse, I called them out and I asked them what had happened," the conductor said, as per NZ Herald.She also said that the Indian passenger "was just minding his own business" and speaking to a friend in "their own language"."It appeared this teenage girl had an issue with him talking in his own language and she was being racist and abusive towards him. We don't put up with language like that, of any kind. We carry passengers to and from A to B, and we want our passengers to get there in a safe manner," the conductor said.                        (Image source from: Difference Between)Before signing off, the conductor also told the NZ Herald that everybody deserves respect "no matter what race you are".By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian Youngster Drowns in Ukraine River August 12, 2019 17:49

An Indian origin youngster drowned in a river in Ukraine on Saturday after going for swimming in Feofania Park. Hailing from Hyderabad, the 21-year-old Jaspreet Singh Bhatia was studying second-year BBA in Amity University, Mumbai. According to his family, he left to Ukraine in June for the purpose of the internship. He was returning to India on Monday to celebrate his birthday with his family.Bhatia was along with four of his friends when the incident happened. However, as he didn’t know how to swim, he drowned, said his uncle Jagjith Singh.   “Today, he was supposed to return, and celebrate his birthday. He had his tickets booked and his parents were eagerly waiting for his arrival... We are extremely pained by the incident,” said Jagjith Singh.Jaspreet is the eldest son of Rajender Pal Singh Bhatia and Jaspreet Kaur.Jaspreet’s family lament that there has been a delay by the Indian embassy in retrieving his body, and have approached K T Rama Rao, TRS working president and son of the Telangana chief minister, through Twitter, for his intervention to expedite the process of bringing his body back. KTR has responded positively. Sorry for your loss. My office @KTRoffice will get in touch with you to get the mortal remains asap https://t.co/egRlU02qNG — KTR (@KTRTRS) August 11, 2019 “Jaspreet’s college has already sent a letter to the embassy in Delhi. They are yet to process it and send it to the Ukraine embassy. We want his body back as soon as possible. It would be great if KTR takes up the issue with the Indian embassy on priority,” Jagjith said.In the meantime, on Sunday, Telangana state minority commission chairman Mohammed Qamaruddin paid a visit to Jaspreet’s home and assured all possible help from the government.By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian American Techie Killed in Road Mishap in U.S. August 08, 2019 17:49

The 28-year-old Indian American techie was killed in a road accident on August 4 (Sunday), while he was heading home in Rawlins, Wyoming along with his co-worker. Hailing from Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh, Sivateja Chintala reportedly moved to the United States six years ago to pursue Masters. According to reports, the car he was traveling in lost control and hit a median. In the accident, Sivateja died while his colleague was seriously injured.The family members of his colleague informed Sivateja’s sister Priyanka, who also lives in the United States, about the tragedy. According to The New Indian Express, Siva Teja’s parents - Chintala Ramanjaneyulu and Venkata Ratnam, were planning to get him married this year.Siva Teja’s family requested the Union government to make arrangements for bringing the body to their native village - Komminenivaripalem in Ballikurava Mandal. One of the two brothers of Sivateja is living in Australia, while the other returned to India and is settled in Guntur.In the meantime, Sivateja’s brother-in-law Satyanarayana has set up a fundraiser on Gofundme to fly his body to India and for other funeral expenses.By Sowmya Sangam

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‘Only Sushma Ji Understood My Pain’: Indian Woman Deserted by NRI Husband Recalls Her Meet with Former Minister August 07, 2019 18:01

The news of sudden demise of former external minister Susha Swaraj was no less than a shock for entire world and for chief Indians abroad, to whom Swaraj was source of solution for all their hitches. The Bharatiya Janata Party veteran worked around the clock to alleviate Indian women who were abandoned by their NRI (Non-Resident Indian) husbands.  Women from Uttar Pradesh, who had found hope for justice and comfort by Sushma Swaraj after being abandoned by their NRI husbands, were deeply disheartened after the news the of death of Sushma Swaraj came out. “She was a completely accessible minister with a mother’s heart. I met her for a few minutes and she heard my ordeal patiently, assuring me of government’s intervention in my case,” Zuby Zaidi, a distressed woman who met Swaraj on June 11, 2017, in New Delhi, was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. According to Hindustan Times, Zaidi got married to an NRI on April 10, 2014. In the span of just two months, she received a divorce notice from her husband and since then, she has been fighting for justice incessantly. “When I met Sushma ji, I felt that she understood my pain. In her demise, I have lost a family member,” she said.Not just Zaidi, when you go to Uttar Pradesh you find number of women who have been abandoned by their NRI husbands just after few months or days of getting married. Several of them met Sushma Swaraj when she was serving as the minister for external affairs.Another agonized woman from Kanpur in UP was quoted by Hindustan Times, saying: “Our fight for justice is on but no one other than Sushma ji understood our pain. She was the one who listened to my story, consoled me and took action in my case.”Another aggrieved women who met the Swaraj in March this year, said that she had assured them that the government would enact a law pertaining to NRI marriages.“She had asked us to meet her after the Lok Sabha elections. When one of us asked Sushma ji if she would remain in the same office in the new government, she had said that she was hopeful of being able to help us out,” said a woman to Hindustan Times.By Sowmya Sangam

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Triple Talaq: NRI Divorces Wife over Phone, Case Filed August 05, 2019 15:15

Just three days after Triple Talaq Bill was passed by both Raja Sabha and Lok Sabha, Uttar Pradesh police have registered a case against a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) for allegedly divorcing his wife over the phone. The incident came to light after the woman’s father submitted a written complaint to Kushinagar Police in UP regarding the matter. According to sources, NRI Abdul Raheem said talaq three times to his 25-year-old wife Fatima Khatoon over the phone and ended the call.A case has been registered against the NRI under Section 4 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, at the Nibua Naurangiya Police Station of Kushinagar district. As per the new law, “The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 makes talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq having the effect of instantaneous and irrevocable divorce pronounced by a Muslim husband void and illegal.” The law makes it illegal to say talaq three times in spoken, written or through SMS or WhatsApp or any other electronic means in one sitting."Any pronouncement of talaq by a Muslim husband upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal," the law says.“Any Muslim husband who pronounces the illegal form of talaq upon his wife shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine,” the law further states.By Sowmya Sangam

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Meet the 23-Year-Old Indian Origin Doctor Bhasha Mukherjee, Who Is Now ‘Miss England’ August 02, 2019 16:03

Doctors are not just confined to books and infirmaries! This was yet again proved by a 23-year-old Indian origin doctor who has crowned Miss England. Vanquishing dozens of other models, Bhasha Mukherjee stood winner. She will be now entering the Miss World contest and will also bag a holiday to Mauritius. Mukherjee holds two different medical degrees and has an Intelligent Quotient (IQ) of 146, making her officially a 'genius'. Moreover, she is fluent in five languages, according to The Daily Mail. Just hours after getting crowned as Miss England on Thursday evening, Mukherjee was about to start her new line of work as a junior doctor in a hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire.                         (Image source from: Derby Telegraph) "Some people might think pageant girls are airheads, but we all stand for a cause," she said before the contest. "My pageant career all started to happen while I was in the middle of studying at medical school - it took a lot of convincing for me to do it, but eventually I decided to do it to balance out my studying and give me a break." Born in India and grew up in the United Kingdom since the age of nine, Mukherjee completed two bachelor degrees: one in medical sciences and one in medicine and surgery from the University of Nottingham in England. By Sowmya Sangam

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