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Indian Origin Man Jailed for 29 Months in UK for Stalking Woman for 18 Months May 17, 2019 11:17

An Indian origin man in the United Kingdom has been jailed for 29 months for stalking a woman for 18 months after she accompanied him just once in a store in London. The 28-year-old Rohit Sharma was jailed at Isleworth Crown Court in London on Wednesday after pleading guilty to harassment, stalking, and failing to appear in court. "Stalking and harassment have a devastating impact on the lives of those targeted. There is an intrusion into the victim's life, and they are left to feel vulnerable, distressed and threatened," said Detective Constable Nicola Kerry from the Metropolitan Police West Area Command Unit, who led the investigation."Sharma was incessant in his pursuit of his victim. He would phone her up to 40 times a day and use around 15 different numbers to contact her, making it near impossible to block his calls, and would also get friends and relatives to contact her on his behalf," she said.The man started stalking his victim, aged in her 20s, after she served him in a shop in Wembley, north-west London, in November 2017. After that short interaction, Sharma came back later that same day with his father and asked her to marry him.Though the victim changed jobs four days later, Sharma found out where she worked and managed to obtain her phone number.His troublesome behavior intensified and he bombarded the victim with multiple messages via text, phone, and social media, the Met Police said.In February 2018, Sharma was issued with a harassment warning after the victim reported him to police. However, the court was told that this did not deter him and his stalking and harassment continued. The victim continued to receive up to 40 calls a day and continually watching her at her workplace.Sharma was charged with harassment in July 2018 but after being bailed from the court he continued to pursue his victim. He even failed to attend a court hearing in November 2018 and was circulated as wanted by police."Sharma's stalking continued persistently to such a point that the victim quit her job and moved away from the area in an attempt to get away from him. However, this only seemed to fuel his campaign and he systematically began contacting people who knew the victim, trying to find out where she had gone," the Met Police said.Sharma was arrested in April 2019 after intelligence linked him to an address in Wembley. He was subsequently charged and, due to the weight of evidence against him, was left with little option but to plead guilty at court.In a statement, the unnamed victim said: "This whole experience has completely shattered my nerves, I have gone from being a confident young woman to constantly feeling scared and on edge. I have no desire to socialize or meet new people, which has really taken its toll and ruined the university experience I had always envisioned."I cannot understand why this male became so obsessed with me. It is so unfair and completely undeserved. I just want him to realize what he has done and to know that he cannot do this to me or anyone else. I now want to move on knowing that he is locked away and cannot harm or hurt anyone else as he has done to me.""The victim has been left devastated by Sharma's actions and I can only hope that his imprisonment offers some form of respite for her. She has shown immense bravery in reporting him to police and supporting this court case," added detective constable Kerry.Sharma was sentenced to 22-months imprisonment for stalking, one month for failing to appear at court, and six months for harassment. Sharma will be deported back to India at the end of his sentence.By Sowmya Sangam

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Absconding NRI Zakir Naik Accuses Enforcement Directorate of Lying over His Assets May 11, 2019 12:31

Absconding Non-Resident Indian (NRI) tele-evangelist Zakir Naik on Friday slammed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleging that though he had no earnings he had transferred Rs 46 crore in a six-year period.In a detailed statement, Naik, an Islamic preacher said: "Why is the ED lying? When everyone - including all the government agencies - know that I have multiple businesses and revenue streams and my earnings have always reflected in the tax returns I have filed, why is ED lying about it?"He sought to know "whether the pressure" is so huge that they (ED) had to resort to lies to achieve the goal set out by "their political bosses".Naik's retort came two days after the ED filed a charge sheet before the Special prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court’s Special Judge M.S. Azmi, accusing him of money-laundering.According to the ED charge sheet, Naik keeps traveling around the world with no "known sources" of income and yet he got along to transfer Rs 49.20 crore to his Indian bank accounts and that the total earning of the crime was around Rs 193 crore.By Sowmya Sangam

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NRI Businessman Jayaram’s Murder Case: Police File 388-Page Charge Sheet May 02, 2019 10:18

Almost four months after the murder of 55-year-old Chirgurupati Jayaram, the Florida-based non-resident Indian businessman, the Hyderabad police on Wednesday filed a charge sheet against 12 people including prime accused K Rakesh Reddy and two police officers. The 388-page charge sheet was filed in a local court and has evidence collected by the police from call data records and CCTV footage along with the statement of around 70 witnesses. According to media reports, the charge sheet which details how the murder was planned also names two police officers for allegedly attempting to conceal the murder. The police had earlier transferred Assistant Commissioner of Police Malla Reddy and Circle Inspector Srinivasulu after their names cropped up during the investigation. The body of Jayaram, who was the director of Coastal Bank was found in the back seat of his car off the national highway near Nandiagama close to Vijayawada on January 31. Jayaram, also a Managing Director of Express TV, a now-defunct Telugu channel, had come to Hyderabad from the United States a few days before his death. Jayaram's wife had also demanded a probe against his niece Shikha Chowdary, who was allegedly in a relationship with Rakesh Reddy. She said that after the murder, Shikha barged into their house in Jubilee Hills. She alleged that some key documents and valuables were missing. However, the police have not named her as an accused but as a witness. “Jayaram’s niece Shrika Chowdary is one of the witnesses in the case. We examined more than 300 persons while 70 were taken as a witness. Kidnapping, confinement, extortion, and murder of Jayaram were main charges against accused Rakesh Reddy,” the police were quoted as saying. The police are also considering imposing charges under the Preventive Detention Act against the accused. The police had earlier said that Jayaram was killed over a monetary dispute. It said Rakesh Reddy, who murdered Jayaram as the latter had failed to repay a Rs 4 crore loan, investigation officials claimed. The police said that their investigation revealed that Reddy called Jayaram to a house in Jubilee Hills and reportedly recorded videos of him after illegally confining him, in a bid to extort money from his family, before the accused killed him. He later shifted the body to Jayaram's car and took it to Krishna district and left it in a field adjoining the national highway to make it appear like an accident. -Sangam Sowmya      

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Current Status of Indian Politics Not Enough to Solve National Problems: NRI Contestant Alok Kumar April 27, 2019 11:00

An NRI independent candidate Alok Kumar contesting from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency on election symbol #LetterBox claimed it is not possible for the national political parties in India like Bharatiya Janata Party or Indian National Congress to actually do something worthwhile. Alok Kumar, who has been residing in Dubai for almost a decade, said that the current status of Indian politics will not be able to solve national problems of recession, unemployment, economic mismanagement, pseudo nationalism, etc. The national metabolism requires that the core of democracy must be taken care of. To be able to provide some real solutions to these very grave issues, Alok Kumar will be using his experiences and knowledge to eke out a purposeful way out. If elected, he wants to be an easily available bridge for the agriculturists, youth, women, etc to face their problems squarely and earn a livelihood with respect.Hailing from Bhopal, Alok Kumar is an author, entrepreneur and experienced Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) professional. He is the director of an e-commerce startup MERABOX.CO under M/S EHA LLP.He has authored a book titled 'Divorce Negatives' that talks about facing challenges of life to be a winner always. Besides, it also talks about solving family and marital issues in a working manner.Dedicated to the continuous growth and development of Madhya Pradesh, Alok possesses ideas and innovations to implement for the benefit of Bhopal. Employment generation and Socio-economic cohesion and development are his foremost objectives aimed at reducing unemployment. Besides giving Bhopal a global platform for all-round progress, Alok will be contributing to its overall improvement benefiting its residents.By Sowmya Sangam

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Sri Lanka Blasts: Death Came to Indian Descent Woman Holidaying in Island Nation When She Was About to Check out April 23, 2019 12:32

The deadly serial blasts in Sri Lanka claimed lives of about 310 people, including eight Indians and a woman with roots in Kerala was one among who fell victims to the explosion that rocked the island nation on Easter Sunday. Kerala-descent woman Raseena was on a vacation with her husband in Sri Lanka and was scheduled to leave the country on Sunday afternoon to Mangalore but in vain. Raseena and her husband Khader Kukadi has been set up home in Dubai for years and were on a vacation in Sri Lanka for over a week. Raseena's family originally hails from Kasargod in Kerala and had put down roots in Sri Lanka for decades. Her husband Khader, who is originally from Mangalore had left for Dubai in the morning time and Raseena was about to accompany him in Dubai after a stay in Bengaluru.The couple was staying in the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo, one of the luxury hotels that was the target for blast. According to reports, Raseena was having breakfast at the hotel before checking out to catch the flight when the explosion took place. The Sri Lankan government on Monday said that it will hold an official funeral to pay tribute to all the people who were killed on Sunday. The funeral will be held on Tuesday at the Katuwapitya church in Negombo, a few kilometers to the north of Colombo, Efe news reported.By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian Origin Man Quits Job in Australia to Vote for PM Modi in Indian General Elections April 15, 2019 11:26

Despite staying in India many people by purpose failed to cast their valuable vote in still afoot Lok Sabha elections but a man hailing from Mangalore and settled in Australia stood out from all to make a decision in his life that would help him vote tranquilly for his ideal leader. The 41-year-old Sudhindraa Hebbaar (41), has resigned from his job as a screening officer at Sydney Airport since he could not get leave to come to India to cast his vote for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on April 18.The man got leave from April 5 to April 12 but he was let down as could not get an extension due to Easter and Ramadan rush. So he made up his mind to resign and come back to India, he told National Daily. Hebbaar added, “In Sydney, I’ve been working with people from across the globe, including Europeans and Pakistanis. I’m proud every time they say India has a great future. I attribute this success and changing image of India to the Prime Minister. Obviously, I cannot go to the border to protect my motherland.”He said that now that he has resigned, he plans to stay till the results (May 23) and see who wins the election after that he will go back and search for a new job.He said in a statement “I am a Permanent Residency card-holder in Australia (his wife is a Fiji-Australian) and I have worked at Sydney Trains before working at the airport. Finding another job shouldn’t be an issue.”Similar in 2014 Indian general elections, Hebbaar flew to India for a day to cast his vote for BJP. He was at the polling booth in Mangalore at 7 a.m., cast his vote and returned to Bengaluru to catch his flight to Sydney.By Sowmya Sangam

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Meet the 32-Year-Old Indian American Who Traveled for over 30 Hours Just to Vote in General Elections April 12, 2019 11:45

Despite being in India scores of voters didn’t turn up to exercise their franchise but a 32-year-old job holder in the United States traveled from New York to Nagpur spending a bomb just to cast his vote. Ashish Sharma, who is working as a sales manager in the United States-based e-commerce company, has lately been a frequent visitor to the city owing to his mother’s ill health. As per the arrangement made with his company, his next visit was scheduled around April 25. However, after polling dates were announced, the big follower of Indian politics could not resist and convinced his bosses to let him fulfill his national duties. Sharma reached Nagpur flying for over 30 hours in the early hours of Thursday. “Right after the polling date was announced, I had made up my mind to come here. While during other visits my company would bear the travel expenses, this time I would be paying for my return tickets,” said Sharma. “It’s not about just one vote. I know it won’t make a difference. My main intention is to motivate all the Indians staying abroad to come and vote. Imagine what a big difference can be made if thousands of Indians living just in the United States vote,” said Sharma, who has been posting his inked pictures on social media appealing people living overseas to vote. Voting, for them, is a medium to express their belongingness, Said Sharma. “We are not appreciated much outside as some racism does exist. And we are not appreciated in India as we don’t stay here. What can be a better way than voting to show that we care?” he added. NRI voters were not been extended right to cast their votes online in this Lok Sabha elections. A bill to extend proxy voting rights to NRIs was passed in Lok Sabha but is pending in Rajya Sabha. -Sangam Sowmya    

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Meet the Loyal Friend and Nri-Technocrat-TDP Worker Who Is Back Home to Campaign for Chandrababu Naidu April 05, 2019 16:08

The constant friend of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Koteswara Rao Chekuri, who resides in Dallas is doing his best to make Babu retain his power in approaching elections. The 40-year-old Chekuri’s association with the TDP goes back more than three decades. A young Chekuri remembers his family in Guntur district’s Vinukonda village rooting for the charismatic NTR (after he formed the TDP in 1982) because they believed the matinee idol-politician would bring good changes to their lives. He and TDP remained intertwined, though he was too little a child to understand. The youngster grew up, graduated from the Regional Engineering College, Warangal, and did his higher studies at Alabama University in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He found a first-world job, married an IT graduate who works in a reputed firm, and now lives a cushy life that is part of any successful Great Telugu American Dream package. To return the gratitude for his native land, he thought nothing would be a better way than through the TDP and Naidu, who is going to face parliamentary elections this summer. His slogan - “state first, rest next”. He booked a flight to his native state and worked his contacts to canvass for the party. “Don’t I have the duty to pay back to my state which has given me all these comforts? That’s precisely my connection with the TDP as well as Naidu and the people,” says the NRI-technocrat-TDP-worker, who regrets not being ‘home’ when it was split in 2014 and general elections were held. He wants to make up for it. “I have formed party units in the U.S., named appropriately as NRI-TDP, to extend tech-based support to Naidu because of whose initiatives four lakh IT professionals from the state are working in the U.S.” Chekuri became more determined when the TDP lost the 2004 and 2009 elections, and the state was bifurcated in 2014. “I felt bad as a Telugu man, living in the far-off U.S., feeling helpless losing Hyderabad.” He has set up a digital campaign theme to support Naidu this election: “Malli mere ravali” (You must return to power). It turned viral as the ‘flexes’ he designed with Naidu’s photo and catchy two-liners attracted the party cadre and candidates alike across 13 districts. -Sangam Sowmya    

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Indian Couple Stabbed in Germany, Husband Dies, Sushma Swaraj Reaches out March 30, 2019 17:13

An Indian couple was stabbed in Germany, confirmed External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj on Saturday. Sushma Swaraj said one Indian national was killed and other was injured after being stabbed by an immigrant near Munich. Condoling the death, the External Affairs Minister said that she has asked Indian mission in Munich to take care of the couple's two children - Saakshi and Shlok."Indian couple Prashant and Smita Basarur were stabbed by an immigrant near Munich. Unfortunately, Prashant has expired. Smita is stable. We are facilitating the travel of Prashant's brother to Germany. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family," Swaraj tweeted. "I appreciate the good work by @cgmunich. I have asked our mission to take care of their two children," she said in another tweet. Indian couple Prashant and Smita Basarur were stabbed by an immigrant near Munich. Unfortunately, Prashant has expired. Smita is stable. We are facilitating the travel of Prashant's brother to Germany. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. /1 — Chowkidar Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 30, 2019 I appreciate the good work by @cgmunich. I have asked our mission to take care of their two children. /2 — Chowkidar Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 30, 2019 Prashant and Smitha studied together in Mangalore University, where she pursued Masters in Art, reports The Indian Express. Prashant completed engineering from NMAM Institute of Technology in Karkala, Karnataka. He joined Airbus Helicopters in Donauworth, Germany in 2016. Further details of the incident and the couple are awaited.By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian American Teen Brothers Kicked off Flight Due to Peanut Allergy Concerns, Korean Airlines Apologize March 30, 2019 10:50

Korean Airlines issued an apology to the family of Indian American teens after they were kicked off a flight on their way to visit family in the Philippines. Prajakta and Rakesh Patel, parents of teen sons of age 15 and 16, said their two unaccompanied sons, were removed from the flight because one of them has a severe peanut allergy. Prajakta and Rakesh Patel told "Good Morning America" that their sons were flying alone from Atlanta to the Philippines to see their ill grandfather. They say Delta was notified of their son's allergy and took the necessary precautions for the first leg of their flight, which went from Atlanta to Seoul. After making it onto their second flight with partner Korean Air, the boys were told that peanuts would be served on board. The family says the airline told the boys that they weren't going to deprive other passengers of peanuts so the brothers had two options: to deal with it or get off the plane. "I was very shocked and almost in tears," mom Prajakta Patel said in an interview with "GMA." "It was the most, most stressed out I've ever been." According to the Patels, the teens pleaded with the airline's agents and offered to sit in the back of the flight with the eldest son, who has the allergy, covering himself with a mask. The teens said the Korean Air agents refused. The boys eventually flew back to Atlanta. The family is now filing a complaint with Korean Airlines. Korean Air released the following statement to ABC News, saying, "Korean Air sincerely apologizes to Mr. and Mrs. Patel and their sons. We are reviewing this incident and will strive to create a better customer experience."More than 5 million children under the age of 18 live through food allergies, with peanuts, shellfish, and milk among the most common, according to the nonprofit Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian Origin Shopkeeper Ravi Katharkamar Stabbed to Death in London March 27, 2019 10:34

The 54-year-old Indian origin man who is running newsagent’s shop in the United Kingdom has been stabbed to death during a burglary at his store on Sunday. Ravi Katharkamar, who was thought to have two children, was attacked as he opened his shop in Pinner, north west London, shortly before 6 a.m. The victim was living in Pinner for many years after moving from Sri Lanka. A passerby had found him collapsed inside the shop before police and paramedics were called to the incident but he was pronounced dead 45 minutes later. It was the second robbery at the shop within a period of six months.Formal identification took place by his relative following a post-mortem examination on Monday. The cause of death was confirmed as a stab wound to the chest.Detective Chief Inspector Simon Stancombe from the Homicide and Major Crime Command unit said: "This was a vicious and unwarranted attack on a completely innocent man."Ravi's attacker got away with a few pounds worth of coins, but he leaves behind a family utterly devastated and a close-knit community asking who could do such a thing."Help me catch the man who did this. The attacker fled with a shop till - have you found this discarded or seen someone in possession of a shop till who wouldn't normally have one? Do you know someone trying to use lots of loose change since yesterday morning?"Local residents told the Evening Standard that Katharkamar was a “pillar of the community”.“He was an extremely friendly, polite and hard-working man. I have seen him delivering papers at the crack of dawn for over 20 years and he will be missed by the community.”The local shop owner, Siva Lingam, said: “We are all so sad. He was a very nice, quiet man. I can’t believe anyone would hurt him.“This robbery must have been planned. They knew he was coming in early to do the Sunday papers.”The assailant used a black Vauxhall Astra to run away from the scene.By Sowmya Sangam

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Jet Airways to Compensate an NRI for Misplacing Bag with Items Worth Rs 2.5 Lakh March 25, 2019 13:18

Airlines have in many cases held responsible for mishandling passengers’ luggage. While many air passengers received their luggage in a shabby condition, some others didn’t receive them at all. Recently, Haryana’s Panchkula district consumer disputes redressal forum has directed Jet Airways to pay Rs 58,000 to a Non-Resident Indian whose bag went missing once he landed in India from Canada.On October 2016, Jasbir Singh Purba a resident of Ontario, Canada, and his wife were carrying a total of four bags. Once they landed at the New Delhi airport, they received only three of them. The fourth bag not only contained luxury clothes worth Rs 1.30 lakh but also medication of heart ailment and high blood pressure for his wife’s diabetes.Jasbir then contacted the employees of the airline who asked him to fill an application form and assured that his baggage will be delivered the next day, according to a report in Times of India. Jasbir said that he along with his wife had to endure a lot of trauma, stress, agony, and harassment upon losing such expensive luggage. On November 05, 2016 the airline delivered the baggage at Jasbir’s address but allegedly in destroyed and broken beyond usage condition.After forum sent a notice to Jet Airways and the representatives appeared before the forum, they laid the blame on Jasbir of raising fake claims so that the company could be blamed of deficiency in service.Jet Airways representatives said that the complainant had not disclosed the value of his baggage at the time of check-in.According to the forum, Jasbir had to purchase new clothes in an emergency, which he already had in his bag. On the basis of observation of case, the clothes purchased by him, amounting to Rs 1.30 lakh, would be used in the future, hence, they deemed it just, fair and reasonable to recompense the complainant to the extent of 1/3rd of the expenses subject by him on account of purchase of cloth items.The forum directed Jet Airways to pay Rs 43,333 which is one-third of Rs 1.30 lakh on account of damages suffered by Jasbir as well as Rs 10,000 on account of harassment, mental agony, and Rs 5,500 as litigation charges.By Sowmya Sangam

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