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Man Jailed for Life for Murder of Indian Origin Colleague in UK September 13, 2019 10:40

A Pakistani-origin man in the United Kingdom has been jailed for life for murdering his Indian origin co-worker in the mistaken belief that he was having an affair with his wife. The 27-year-old Aqib Pervaiz lured Nadeem Uddin Hameed Mohammed, a native of Hyderabad, to an underground car of the supermarket, where they were working. Minutes before, Pervaiz purchased a kitchen knife from the store in Slough, near London. Despite Pervaiz being on friendly terms with Mohammed, he got convinced by his another colleague that Mohammed was in a relationship with his wife, Saima Munir.                        (Image source from: BBC) Photo: Aqib Pervaiz “You believed quite wrongly and without any foundation at all that your wife had formed a relationship with Mr. Mohammed, despite the efforts of your wife, other family members, and Mr. Mohammed to convince you your suspicions were all in your mind," Judge Heather Norton told Pervaiz during sentencing at Reading Crown Court this week. Mohammed’s wife, Afsha, who was eight months pregnant at the time of the murder in May, has returned to India with their baby daughter who he never got to meet, the court was told. Mohammed’s family, in a statement, said: "He was brutally and unfairly taken from the world when he was giving so much and had a big future. It is impossible to explain how deep and profound his loss is to the whole family; his wife, his newborn child, his father, the wider family and beyond. None of us can imagine a life with him gone and he will never be forgotten. May God give us strength and Nadeem peace." In a CCTV footage, which was shown to the court, Pervaiz was seen attacking Mohammed from behind, using 20cm (8in) kitchen knife to deliver a single fatal blow to his chest. Mohammed, the resident of Southall suburb of south-west London, later died in hospital. Before being considered for parole, Pervaiz was ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years imprisonment. He was also sentenced to 18 months in prison for possession of a bladed article, which will run concurrently with his life sentence. Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Shearwood of Thames Valley Police's Major Crime Unit, said: "This was a horrific incident, which occurred in daylight hours in front of members of the public. Pervaiz's actions on that day were despicable."Without warning, he brutally stabbed Nadeem in a very public place, in front of people going about their normal daily routines and his actions cost Nadeem his life."The officer praised Mohammed's family for their dignity and bravery all through the extremely stressful and tragic time.He added: "Pervaiz admitted his guilt due to the substantial amount of evidence against him, and I am pleased that Nadeem's family have been spared from a trial in court."Pervaiz will now serve a life sentence for murder, while it cannot bring Nadeem back, I hope it offers some form of closure for his family and it can help them to move on."Mohammed married Afha in India less than a year ago and she had joined him in Britain just a month prior to the murder in May this year. The store where Mohammed worked as an assistant manager issued a statement expressing shock and upset at the murder.By Sowmya Sangam

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Trump Nominates Indian American Anuraag Singhal as Florida Judge September 10, 2019 10:08

President Donald Trump on Monday nominated an Indian American Anuraag Singhal as a federal judge in Florida to replace James I. Cohn.  Singhal, who is currently on the 17th Circuit Court in Florida, is among the 17 judiciary nomination sent by the White House to the Senate. He is the first Indian American to be nominated for this position in Florida. The senate judiciary committee is scheduled to announce the name for the United States district judge for the southern district of Florida on Wednesday.  Singhal’s parents, hailing from Uttar Pradesh, migrated to the U.S. in 1960. His father was a research scientist with Exxon. Read: American Airlines Names Priya Aiyar as Senior Vice PresidentAccording to a media report, Singhal is most famous for representing the notorious Aileen Wuornos, a serial killer who murdered seven men in Florida. Although Singhal did not represent the serial killer at the time of the trial, he represented her in a lawsuit when she accused prison guards of "harassing her to death"."Aileen was difficult to represent because she had volunteered for the death penalty. She wanted to go," Singhal had told India-West in 2012 after he was appointed to the circuit court."I tried to talk her out of it. I tried to get her re-evaluated. I wanted to keep her from getting executed," Singhal told the newspaper.  Then-Governor Rick Scott appointed Singhal to the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court in 2011, where he currently serves.By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian American Family Dies in Florida Car Crash September 05, 2019 10:37

An Indian American family of three lost their lives in a dreadful accident on the Sawgrass Expressway in Florida while on their way to the Fort Lauderdale airport after spending the long holiday weekend.   The residents of Coral Springs - Boby Mathew (47), his wife Dolly Mathew (41) and their son, Steve Manoj (16) - crashed into a retention pond near the northbound entrance ramp toward Florida’s Turnpike. Following the crash, the car, a Honda Accord, drowned in water and the rescuers retrieved three family members trapped inside the submerged car out the vehicle. According to the rescue team, the car lost its balance immediately after it exited the ramp and fell into the pond. Hailing from Ernakulam district in Kerala, Boby is an IT professional in Dallas. The couple’s elder son, Austin, was not with them at the time of the accident. By Sowmya Sangam

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Dinesh Chawla, Trump’s Former Partner, Held for Theft at Airport August 27, 2019 11:15

An Indian origin hotel owner who earlier partnered with President Donald Trump’s family on four hotels has been arrested for stealing luggage at Memphis International Airport, Tennessee, last weekend. According to police, Dinesh Chawla, the Chief Executive Officer of Chawla Hotels, was seen taking luggage from the baggage claim in the airport, put it in his car and went back inside the airport to catch a flight. The airport authorities upon searching the car found the suitcase and another piece of luggage that had been taken from the airport last month, The New York Times reported.Chawla, who was arrested when he returned to Memphis, admitted to stealing the two bags and their $4,000 valued contents, according to a police affidavit.He also admitted to stealing luggage "over a long period of time" for the thrill and excitement though he knew it was wrong, the report said but it provided no details of other thefts.Chawla brothers operate a chain of hotels and motels in the Delta and are currently constructing a luxury hotel in Cleveland, an undertaking that until February was a joint venture with the Trump Organization.                        (Image source from: CBS News)The contacts between the Trump family and the Chawlas dates back to 1988 when Chawla brothers’ father V K Chawla reached out to Donald Trump Sr for help starting a motel in Greenwood. Trump called the Suresh Chawla, the brother of Dinesh Chawla, and suggested that he apply for a minority Small Business Administration loan, which he did successfully.By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian Origin Pakistani Leader B M Kutty Dies at 89 August 26, 2019 12:32

Indian origin Pakistani politician and human rights activist Biyyothil Mohyuddin Kutty, popularly known as B M Kutty, died on Sunday in Karachi after a prolonged illness. He was 89. “He was ill for a while. He spent his life fighting for civil and human rights,” said Marvi Sarmad, a human rights activist and journalist. B M Kutty moved to Pakistan from Kerala state in India in 1949. His wife Birjis Siddiqui died in 2010. The couple has four children. Condoling the death of Kutty, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan remembered him as a “leader who constantly fought for improving the relation between India and Pakistan”. “He (Kutty) was born in Tirur (in Malappuram district) and later emigrated to Pakistan and emerged as a major figure in Pakistan’s politics,” Vijayan said. “He was also a prominent journalist and a determined leader who fought for peace and against communalism,” he added.  Life of BM Kutty                        (Image source from: www.thenews.com.pk)Born in 1930 in Kerala’s Tirur town to a Malayali Muslim family, Kutty was  raised in middle-class resources. Kutty joined the Muslim Students Federation at the age of 16 under the All-India Muslim League. He attended Mohammedan College in Chennai, where he studied science for four years. In 1972, Kutty associated with the then governor of Balochistan province Ghaus Baksh Bizenjo and served as political secretary - this can be regarded as the high point of his career. Kutty served as the general secretary of Pakistan Peace Coalition, a civil society group that aims to promote peace between India and Pakistan.In 2011, Kutty launched his autobiography “Sixty Years in Self-Exile: No Regrets; A Political Autobiography”, in which he narrated the story about his journey from Kerala to Karachi. He also made clear why he had chosen to stay in Pakistan.                          (Image source from: Rediff.com)Condolences Pour in for Pakistani Peace Activist   Talat Aslam, a Pakistani journalist and editor of the News International daily, tweeted: “Sad to learn about the death of veteran left activist BM Kutty. Originally, from Kerala, Kutty came to Pakistan as a young man and became a key figure in the politics of his new homeland, championing progressive causes…” Sad to learn about the death of veteran left activist BM Kutty. Originally fm Kerala, Kutty came to Pakistan as a young man & became a key figure in the politics of his new homeland, championing progressive causes. He was a close confidant of veteran Baloch leader GB Bizenjo. RIP — Talat Aslam (@titojourno) August 25, 2019 Heartbroken about the passing away of veteran Leftist legend, comrade B.M. Kutty. He has as much contributions in Baloch politics as any Baloch leader. He was a close aide to my father Mir Ghous Buksh Bizenjo; also wrote his autobiography.He was more of a family than a friend. pic.twitter.com/G5fynCYI0v — Hasil Bizenjo (@hasilbizenjo) August 25, 2019 Rest in peace, Kutty sahib. We will miss your gentle peace-making ways profoundly. Remember going with him to Nirmala Deshpande’s funeral in better times. He worked so hard for progressive politics to take root, never daunted by setbacks. Feels like the end of an era. Sad pic.twitter.com/pT5cpCVl8L — SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) August 25, 2019 A pic of MRD leaders’ meeting (1987 Karachi) headed by late Benazir Bhutto. #BMKutty is seen in 1st from the left. In the anti-Zia dictatorship movement, BB used to ask Kutty to draft MRD documents/press briefings bcoz of his command in drafting political documents. pic.twitter.com/w0nYpdrqgg — Zia Ur Rehman (@zalmayzia) August 25, 2019 In Shashi Tharoor 's words, Kerala's gift to Pakistan. RIP #BMKutty https://t.co/sGryej0NvL — Ayanangsha Maitra (@Ayanangsha) August 26, 2019 BM Kutty-in him I have lost a great comrade, he was not only an intellectual of the left but also an activist till he could do it. Great loss for all of us.#[email protected] — BabarAyaz (@BabarAyaz1) August 26, 2019 By Sowmya Sangam

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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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