Horrific Attack on Indian Family in New Jersey

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[Also, visit the page ‘How you can help’ for various steps you can take to help the family]

Fox News Coverage and detailed Account of what happened.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Dr. Divyendu Sinha  was a brilliant technocrat who earned his B. Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology   and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stevens Institute of Technology. He was working for Siemens corporation (see more details under his bio).

Divyenduji, his wife Alkabahen and children, Ashish (16 years) and Ravi (12 years) had stepped out of their home to take a late night stroll on Friday, June 25 in a perfectly safe neighborhood where they have lived for sixteen years. This is a neighborhood where people do not lock front doors and cars are left unlocked in driveways.  As they were returning back and were near their home around mid night, a car full of five teenagers (two Caucasians, three African Americans) pulled up; the driver stayed in the car and rest of them came from behind and attacked Divyenduji and his two sons. He was hit on the temple, he fell down and hit his head on the pavement.  The attacker(s) continued to kick him on the head and neck. After the attack they escaped in the car.  Divyenduji was able to get up so they tried to walk him to their home. However, after walking a few yards, he collapsed.  At that point his son ran to nearby house and the neighbor came out and called 911. He was transported to nearby Raritan Bay Hospital.  At that time (around 12:30 A. M.) he was able to answer questions like his name, birth date, etc. though his speech had begun to slur. He could not raise his left hand but was able to raise right hand .  Soon after he became unconscious and by 4:00 A. M. he was transferred to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick.  This hospital has excellent reputation.  The children had bruises, swollen jaw, neck pain, etc. but they were treated at the hospital and released.

According to the neurosurgeon who briefed us, by the time Divyenduji reached there, damage was done. There was severe cranial bleeding in the brain and brain had swelled so much that it had compressed brain stem which had affected all vital functions adversely.  The brain had also shifted because of tremendous pressure within the enclosed chamber. According to the doctor, the compression of the stem is an irreversible process. One thing that was disturbing was that this surgeon had not looked at the reports from the first hospital and was not even sure if the reports and scans had accompanied the patient.  He was not even aware of the fact that Divyenduji had been beaten up. He said that the bleeding had a pattern of a stroke but when we asked pointed questions, he admitted that the stroke was likely the result of the beating and trauma caused by it. VHPA volunteers from Staten Island and New Jersey chapters as well Divyenduji’s neighbors and friends had reached the hospital and were there throughout the two and a half day ordeal.  Dr. Ila Sukhadia, President of Staten Island Chapter insisted on receiving a copy of all CATscans and having received them shared it with three outside specialists.  Sadly, they concurred with the diagnosis that nothing could be done to save Divyendubhai’s life. Divyendubhai’s younger brother, Purnendu and Alkabahen’s younger brother, Alok were able to catch a flight out of Bharat upon receiving the news and reached the hospital on Saturday afternoon.  While Divyendyji remained on life support, we all hoped for  a miracle and continued to do chanting and prayers in his ICU room.

On Sunday, the doctors advised that they would be doing two tests, six hours apart to check if the brain was sending any signals. If results were negative than they would declare that the life had ended and the life support could not longer be maintained. First test was done at 9:00 P.M. and the results were disappointing. Second test was carried out at 3:00 A. M. on Monday and at 4:00 A. M. Doctors declared that Diveyenduji life had ended. Thus all our hopes against hope were dashed.  A life was snuffed out needlessly at prime age of 49.

The family decided to donate his kidneys so life support was continued.  Finally at 4:30 P. M. on Monday, June 28, family and friends gathered around Divyenduji, lighted a lamp, put Gangajal and Tulsipatra in his mouth and amid chanting and recitation of sacred mantras, the body was moved to Operation room.

The funeral was held on June 30, at Franklin Memorial Park.

(The above information was taken from the account of family friend and community activist Gaurang Vaishnav who was close to the family throughout the tragic incident.  He is executive VP of VHP America).

A touching account of the Funeral (on June 30, 2010) from a visitor along with appeal to community to help the family

Dear All,

Few hours ago my family visited Divyendu Sinha’s funeral.  We saw many hundreds of people across the cross section of races whose lives Divyendu and his family touched.

It was heart breaking to see his wife and two teenage sons who lost their loved one in a senseless attack.   What is tragic is they have to bear the loss with the images of the the brutal attack done in front of their eyes, for no reason, no provocation while they tried to stop helplessly.

Those who came up and gave eulogies are from the cross sections, from his past PhD student who said how he used to enjoy Indian food at their home, to his manager at Siemens who could not control his grief and sorrow and pledged to do his best to see the family through,  to the faculty member at College of Staten Island who want to start a scholarship (or funding) program in his name and many friends who accounted their memories and his scholarship.  The priest who conducted the ceremony has done a great job of informing the ceremony procedure to those who are not acquainted.

Though this loss is primarily to his family and to his close relatives and friends, but it is also that of larger community.   If one family is insecure, it is insecurity for all of us.  It could be anyone of us.   We do not know the motives of those who attacked, it could be racial, it could be first easy target they found to perpetrate their gruesome violence and perhaps Indian Americans in their view are easy targets.  The bigger issue is whether the administration will handle this fairly.  Given the past history, such as family of Geetha Angara from Holmdel, NJ who was brutally murdered at work place is still waiting for justice even after more than five years  shows it is imperative that community come together to bring justice.

What next?   While we are attentive to this now, it cannot be a matter of first few days.  The family has to continue and they would need support, emotionally, financially and legally.   The family has to go on and there are two teenagers who needs to go to college.  (Please see the website  https://justicefordivyendufamily.wordpress.com/how-you-can-help/ ).  We have to ensure that justice is done to the family and community can play a big role in showing support.   Many times these cases are diluted with the affected getting little support in the end.    This case has to be pursued effectively in both criminal and civil courts.   The civil courts have to pursued to ensure that the family is compensated adequately for the loss of sole incoming member of the family.

In helping them we are helping ourselves.  We have to come together as a community and be their larger family.

Note: Please visit the page, ‘How you can help‘ for various steps you can take to help the family.

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About Justice For Divyendu Family

This website is created to raise awareness of brutal murder of Dr. Divyendu Sinha by five teenagers in front of his family members on June 25th. It has set of actions anyone concerned to take firm action against perpertrators and help the family.
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15 Responses to Horrific Attack on Indian Family in New Jersey

  1. Sameer says:

    I am really disturbed by reading the above,as a Indian studying in US i feel this thing needs to be taken on priority basis and the offenders be punished severely as per the law.RIP to Mr Sinha and i pray god gives strength to his family to pass through this difficult time.

  2. Dave Makkar says:

    Respected Mrs. Alka Sinha Ji. Namaskar.

    Please accept our deepest heart felt condolences to you and entire Sinha family for the tragic death of Dr Divyendu Sinha. We are fully aware no words and assurances can compensate the loss of your companion and loss of a father to your two young children. No one can bring back the feeling of ultimate security what Dr Sinha represented in your life and your children’s life till they have their own families. The only thing at this stage we can do is try to bring back financial security to a small extent by filing three law suits separately representing you and your two children for damages on Police Dept, Twp of Old Bridge, School Board and Parents of the killers.

    Dr Sinha being a staunch Hindu makes me say on his behalf that we must adhere to Lord Krishna’s message that Guilty must be punished. The teenagers who brutally murdered Dr Sinha under racial bias right in front of his immediate family must be punished to the maximum extent. We must make sure they get maximum punishment for this heinous crime by hiring best attorneys and demanding independent State investigation right from day one. For that the family court is no place and unfortunately administration is playing games and we must refuse family court and demand Free & Open Public Trial as well as independent state investigations.

    We pray to Almighty God to give you all the strength and courage of Maa Durga to bring the killers of Dr Sinha to justice. It is our humble request to you that please don’t give up for the sake of your children, other members of your family and to save another potential victim to such crimes in future from your own community. Above all please don’t give up on what Dr Divendu Sinha lived his life. So many individuals like me can assist you in your war for justice but we can not help you. It is the God only who helps every human being and especially to those who help them selves.

    May it comfort you to know that others care, and may you find new hope and peace in the days ahead.

    With best regards,
    All The Volunteers for Justice For Divyendu Family

    Dave & Rashmi Makkar
    973 416 1600 D
    973 760 6006 C

    P.S. Please feel free to call us any time if we can be of any assistance to you.

  3. VoP says:

    Time has apologized for the article that I mentioned above. But it’s too little too late, as it would have created more hatred against Indians.

    http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Time-magazine-says-sorry-to-IndianAmericans/643353/

  4. Magesh says:

    Words cannot even begin to express our shock and sorrow.
    Our deepest condolences to Mr.Sinha family.
    Our prayers and thoughts are with with his family and friends.
    Let Mr.Sinha’s memories give the comfort and strength to the family to continue his legacy in their journey.
    We all together as a community should support his family during this time of grief.
    Wish this never happened and hopeful all actions will be taken that this will never happen again.

  5. krupakar says:

    What an Shocking Horror incident to hear. All the five teenage bastards should be pissed-of to death and other miscreants should know the treatment they face for such actions.
    I hope the government takes issue sensitively as an national concern.

  6. Arjun Rathore says:

    We all are shocked to hear of this. I being a father of 2 little girls can not imagine this and find hard to believe this. Our prayers are with the family.

  7. VoP says:

    My deepest ondolences to the Sinha family. Racism is an ugly word. As long as there are people encouraging it the venom will spread and destroy innocent families. You may be shocked , here’s an example of such a piece that was published just yesterday. Write to the author/Times and make sure your comments are heard.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1999416,00.html?artId=1999416?contType=article?chn=us

    At the end of 5th paragraph comes a shocking statement ( “we started to understand why India is so damn poor” ) completely ignoring who made India poor by stealing it’s riches for 3 long centuries, their own forefathers from the looting and pillaging British, French, Dutch, Spanish and Portugeese – white race from Christian faith!

    Loot – in search of East India Co
    http://satyameva-jayate.org/2006/08/30/loot-east-india-company/

  8. LNC says:

    R.I.P. My deepest condolences to the Sinha family. May the Sinha family have the strength to get through this horrific tragedy. The public is on your side and may justice be served.

  9. Sudhir says:

    I am surprised why Raritan Bay Hospital took over four hours to transfer Dr. Sinha to another hospital. Since he was able to answer questions on arrival, timely treatment probably would have saved him. This needs to be enquired into.

  10. Kiran Kumar says:

    As a NRI living in US, I am horrified to read this news. I request all concerned authorities to pursue this case to the fullest extent, and give justice to this family.

    -Kiran Kumar
    Seattle, USA

  11. aparaajita10 says:

    May Krshn give courage & strength to the bereaved family to carry on Dr. Sinha’s legacy. The loss for the family is immense. I pray for them to be able to bear it.

  12. Matbar Singh Negi says:

    I am shocked, my heart felt condolances are with Sinha family. We also take late evening/night strolls on that street ocasionally. May GOD give peace to the soul of Dr. Sinha and strength to Alkabahen in this difficult time. I am trying to circulate this extremely sad news with my neigbhours and other Indian community members, let’s all extend our help whatsoever to Sinha family.

  13. Pramod Kumar says:

    My condolences to Shri Divyendu’s children and wife Shrimati Alkabahen.

    May his soul rest in peace.

    I urge community leaders to fully support Divyendu ji’s family and launch a campaign to put the criminals behind bars for life.

  14. Abegail says:

    My condolences & prayers with the family.May his soul R.I.P. Take care. Be Strong.Like they say God needs good people but the truth always prevail & wrong will be punished.

  15. Vijay Telkikar says:

    My heart goes to Swargiya Divyendu’s hildren and wife Alkabahen. For no fault of Divyendu, a good, law-abiding, highly learned and decent young man’s life was terminated, totally destroying a loving family at it’s bloom time. May God Shiva receive Divyendu with immense love and may He heal the family and give Alkabahen strength to protect and raise the children to their full potential.

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