'Dirty Harry' pleads not guilty of smuggling people

Wednesday 03rd April 2024 07:35 EDT

Harshkumar Ramanlal Patel, 28, who has been accused of smuggling people across the US-Canada border into Minnesota, including the Gujarati family that froze to death on the border in 2022, has entered a plea of ‘not guilty.’ Dubbed as “Dirty Harry,” Patel entered his plea via teleconference with US Magistrate Judge Leo Brisbois. The driver, hired by Patel, Steven Shand, has also pleaded not guilty. Unsealed court papers connect Patel with a human trafficking group based in the Indian state of Gujarat. The group allegedly would get Indian nationals into Canada on student visas, then move them on to the Chicago area, the report said.

Eminent Indian origin mathematician dies in US

Dr TN Subramaniam, an eminent mathematician of Indian origin and creator of Route One company and server for General Motors, passed away in Michigan. He was 76. Subramaniam, who migrated to the US in 1979, was renowned in academic circles in India and the US. He leaves behind him a rich legacy of mathematical models and theories for the world of maths. He was hired by General Motors to build mathematical models for GM cars. Later, he founded the Route One company for the automotive manufacturing company, which handles auto-financing for all GM cars and GPS systems. He was the architect of the server for the site for General Motors in Troy, Michigan, in the US. Subramaniam is survived by wife, daughter, and son-in-law, who work for the Biden administration in the state of Maryland in the US.

NY man caught smuggling ‘wildlife trophy’ at Delhi airport

Paljit Singh Paul Lalvani of New York, was caught at Delhi Airport for smuggling a ‘wildlife trophy’, a police official said. A ‘wildlife trophy’ refers to an animal or its head, skin, or any other body part that the hunter keeps as a souvenir. The Indian American was apprehended on March 24 while attempting to transport a suspicious wildlife trophy presumed to be from an antelope/carved species, out of India. Despite being initially booked under the Customs Act, 1962, Lalvani’s case was later directed to the Wildlife Department by the Duty Magistrate, Patiala House Court. Lalvani was handed over to the Customs Officials and they booked him under relevant sections of the Customs Act, 1962.

Pak man who filmed sister’s honour killing held

A Pakistani man who allegedly filmed his brother strangling their sister to death has been arrested as part of the latest “honour” killing that has outraged the country, police said. Maria Bibi, 22, was killed on March 17, allegedly by her brother Muhammad Faisal and in the presence of her father Abdul Sattar, near Toba Tek Singh town in the central-eastern province of Punjab. A video filmed by the woman’s other brother Shehbaz, and which has gone viral, appears to show Faisal strangling the girl on a bed in the family home while their father sat nearby. At one point, the video appears to show Shehbaz saying “father, tell him to let go”, but is rebuffed as his brother continues to strangle the motionless body for more than two minutes. When Faisal is done, his father offers him water to drink.

51 supporters of Imran Khan get 5-year RI

A Pakistani court convicted 51 supporters of former PM Imran Khan for five years of rigorous imprisonment on two counts for their involvement in attacking key military installations last year. In May last year, Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters had allegedly attacked several military installations, including the army headquarters in Rawalpindi and the ISI building in Faisalabad, to vent their anger against the arrest of their party founder in a corruption case. This is the first conviction in the cases registered against the PTI leaders, workers and supporters in connection with the May 9 riots in the country, mostly in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

8 migrants from Asia die in boat accident

The bodies of eight migrants, apparently from Asia, were found after a boat accident off Mexico's southern Pacific coast, authorities said. Prosecutors in the southern state of Oaxaca said one survivor, an Asian man, was located. Based on preliminary investigations, the dead appeared to have been from Asia, they said. The bodies were found near a beach in the town of Playa Vicente, which is about 400 km east of Mexico's border with Guatemala. The causes of the boat accident were under investigation. The area is a key route for migrants seeking to cross Mexico to reach the US border.

Thailand passes bill to legalise same-sex unions

Thailand’s House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that would legalise same sex marriage, bringing the measure a significant step closer to becoming law. The bill passed 400-10, with a handful of abstentions, and now the legislation goes to the Senate. If it passes there, and if Thailand’s king approves it, the country will become the first in Southeast Asia to recognize same-sex marriages. In Asia more broadly, only Taiwan and Nepal have done so. Thailand’s bill describes marriage as a partnership between two individuals, rather than between a woman and a man.

Store attacked over socks bearing religious word

A Molotov cocktail was thrown at a store belonging to a Malaysian chain that had offered socks bearing the word “Allah” for sale. The incident came days after the mini-market chain’s executives were charged with hurting religious feelings over the sale of the socks at another of its stores. Wan Mohamad Zahari Wan Busu, police chief in Kuantan city in Malaysia’s east, said the KK Supermart branch had been hit just before dawn, causing a small fire at the entrance. He said the attack was “still under probe, but we’re not denying that it may be related to the incident involving stockings with the word Allah”.

8-year-old survives bus plunge that left 45 dead

An 8-year-old girl was the sole survivor after a bus carrying 46 people on their way to an Easter weekend pilgrimage in South Africa plunged 165 feet from abridge into a ravine and burst into flames, according to a local department of transportation. The bus was travelling from Botswana to Moria, a religious pilgrimage site in South Africa’s northeast, when it careered off a bridge winding through the Mmamatlakala mountain pass after the driver “lost control,” the department said. Forty-five people, including the driver, were killed. The girl was receiving medical attention at a nearby hospital. The child was in serious condition, according to a govt statement.

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