United States Federal Judge Brian M Cogan allowed New York-based rights group Sikhs
for Justice, time till December 3 to
file an amended complaint against
Congress party President Sonia
Gandhi in a pending human rights
The amended complaint will
include Gandhi’s awarding political
positions to those who were involved
in the genocidal attacks on the Sikhs
in 1984, according to Gurpatwant
Singh Pannun, legal advisor, SFJ.
During Sonia Gandhi’s visit to
America in September for medical
treatment, a class action lawsuit was
filed against her by SFJ along with
victims seeking compensatory and
punitive damages for her role in
shielding and protecting Kamal
Nath, Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler
and other Congress party leaders
from being prosecuted for their
crimes committed during the anti-Sikh riots.
While the SFJ claimed that federal
court summons were served properly
on Gandhi through the hospital and
security staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New
York September 9, her attorneys are
challenging the legality of the service
The case was filed in the US after
the victims were denied justice in
“The gravity, scale, organized and
intentional nature of the genocidal
attacks was concealed by Indian gov-
ernments by portraying them as the
anti-Sikh riots of Delhi,” Pannun
The complaint will also point out
the recent nomination of Sajjan
Ravi Batra, attorney for the
Congress party, said there was noth-
ing unusual in granting more time to
“Judge Cogan’s granting SFJ attorney Guljit Bains’ request for an additional two weeks to file the first
amended complaint, over defense
objection, was in the finest tradition
of judicial compassion and largesse,
and served to enhance professionalism,” he said.
“We await the amended complaint,
so that it can be reviewed and its
predicate allegations and claimed
jurisdiction, personal and subject
matter, tested in court,” Batra said.
Currently, Batra added, there are
four cases in federal district courts
filed by the SFJ against the Congress
Kshama Sawant, the Socialist alternative candidate, celebrat- ed her victory to the Seattle
City Council with a rally at the Service
Employees International Union local
headquarters in the city.
Terming her victory a ‘political
earthquake’, she said, ‘this movement
also belongs to the activists and stu-
dents and everyone who worked hard
on the information campaign. We’ve
shown that it’s possible to succeed
with an openly socialist campaign not
taking money from big business.’
Sawant said her first action as a city
councilor would be to put forth the
$15/hour minimum wage in Seattle or put it on
“We are currently doing solidarity actions with
Boeing workers. When Kshama takes office, we
will move a city ordinance for a $15 minimum
wage,” Anh Tran, Kshama’s spokesperson, said.
“If the other city councilors try to delay or
block the ordinance, we will write an initiative
and campaign for it so people can vote for the
wage hike themselves in 2014 elections.”
Sawant was declared the winner after her
opponent Richard Conlin conceded as her lead
grew to 1,640 votes.
Conlin, a 16-year incumbent, was backed by
the city’s political establishment.
“Younger people now favor socialism and its
ideology. Socialism is no longer a dirty word,
while capitalism is facing enormous problems,”
Born in 1973 to Vasundhara and H T
Ramanujam in Pune, Sawant grew up in
Mumbai where she studied computer science
and graduated with a science degree from the
University of Mumbai in 1994.
She married Vivek Sawant, an engineer at
Microsoft, and moved to the US.
Sawant moved to Seattle in 2006 and became
a US citizen in 2010.
She held part-time teaching positions at the
Seattle Central Community College and Seattle
University and was a visiting assistant professor
at Washington and Lee University.
SUMAN GUHA MOZUMDER
AMiddlesex County Superior Court judge last week sentenced Julian Daley, 18, to 15 years in prison for the fatal attack on New Jersey scientist Divyendu Sinha in 2010.
Judge Bradley Ferencz Daley sentenced Daley for
charges of aggravated manslaughter and conspiracy
to commit aggravated assault.
He will face five years of parole supervision upon
release after serving a minimum of 85 percent of the
Daley was also sentenced to five years for an unrelated burglary charge for which he had previously
pleaded guilty. The sentences will run concurrently.
The guilty plea that the prosecutor accepted in
February, called for a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Mitchell Ansell, Daley’s lawyer, argued that his
client be given a 10 year sentence. He referred to a
psychiatrist’s report that postulated that Daley had
impulsive behavior problems.
Ansell also referred to his client’s clean record
before the attack, his athletic accomplishments, his
remorse, his age at the time of the attack — Daley
was 16 then — and his being influenced by older
boys in the group.
Ansell’s argument was that the mitigating factors
outweighed the aggravating factors.
All these did not cut much ice with the judge.
Ferencz said he found Daley to be a risk to society
and that he would likely commit a serious crime
Ferencz referred to Daley’s parents’s unsuccessful
attempts to steer him on the right path. He said a message
should be sent to the community that one should be free to
walk in his neighborhood without being attacked.
Acting Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Kuberiet said
contrary to the defense plea rather than being influenced by
others, Daley was the prime mover on that fateful night
when Sinha was attacked.
Daley’s behavior was not impulsive because
he got down from the car three times, he said.
Kuberiet referred to several incidents where he
had a brush with the law, including his expulsion from middle school and his neighbor’s letter detailing wayward and destructive behavior.
Alka Sinha, Dr Sinha’s wife, spoke briefly and
said she saw no remorse on Daley’s face in
Three others — Christopher Conway, Cash
Johnson and Christian Tinli — accused of
attacking Dr Sinha and his sons have already
Steven Contreras, the driver of the getaway
car, who had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to
commit aggravated assault and had a deal limiting his exposure to four years, has not been
sentenced so far.
Kuberiet had asked the judge to vacate the
sentencing part of the plea and replace it with
the maximum possible sentence of 10 years as
Contreras’s attorney sought more time to prepare his
arguments. Hearing and sentencing are expected sometime
Teen gets 15 years in jail for
Divyendu Sinha’s murder
A condolence meeting for Dr Divyendu Sinha in Old Bridge, New Jersey, days after his murder
Kshama Sawant’s ‘political
earthquake’ shakes up Seattle
Sikhs for Justice to file amended
complaint against Sonia Gandhi
Kshama Sawant, center, celebrates her win.