THE STRANGE CASE OF AAKASH DALAL

Aakash Dalal a former student of Rutgers was sentenced to 35 years in prison for terrorizing Jewish communities in Bergen County, New Jersey. Dalal and his former high school friend, Anthony Graziano, had been convicted of terrorism in 2016. Graziano received the same sentence.

Between December 2011 and January 2012, the two had spraypainted anti-Semitic graffiti at synagogues in neighboring towns of Maywood and Hackensack, attempted to burn down Temple K’Hai Adith Jeshrun in Paramus and threw Molotov cocktails into the home of a rabbi in Rutherford.

Aakash Dalal and Antony Graziano

ALL THAT RESULTED IN A RABBI BURNING HIS HAND . NO ONE ELSE WAS HURT IN ANY WAY 

In separate trials at Superior Court in Hackensack last year, Dalal, who was described as the mastermind, was convicted on 20 counts, while Graziano, who conducted the attacks, was found guilty on 18 counts. Dalal, a former student at Rutgers University, was arrested in March 2012.

Before the trial Adarsh Dalal, Aakash’s father, told India-West that his son’s civil rights are being violated, as he is being held indefinitely in solitary confinement. “Some days, I just look at the wall all day long,” said Dalal, quoting his son.

The father denied that his son was in any way involved in the case, and that Aakash had been in New Hampshire working on Ron Paul’s presidential bid. His boarding passes to and from New Hampshire have been considered insufficient evidence. Adarsh Dalal also refuted media reports stating that Graziano was a childhood friend of his son, saying he had never seen or heard of Graziano until the case against his son began to take shape.

An appellate court reviewing Dalal’s bail amount – at that time set at $2.5 million – found it to be “excessive and an abuse of discretion.” The appellate court noted the severity of the charges but also noted that no one had been seriously hurt, except a rabbi who had burned his hand. The appellate court also noted that the bombings were planned via “instant messages” and Graziano was likely the perpetrator in the actual bombings.  The court recommended setting bail at $1 million.

DALAL MAY NOT EVEN HAVE BEEN PRESENT AT ANY OF THE “CRIME SCENES”

But when the Dalals went to pay the bail amount – mortgaging their home to come up with the bond – they were told that their son’s bail had now increased to $4 million,  in light of new findings by the FBI that day that Dalal was planning to kill Bergen County assistant prosecutor Martin Delaney, once released, and had a list of people he planned to attack. The Dalals did not have $4 million, so their son remains in solitary confinement.

In other words a former 19 year old student of Rutgers allegedly told another 19 year old to go firebomb a synagogue and throw Molotov cocktails at a rabbis home via instant messaging and then when the parents mortgaged their house to secure bail bail is increased to 4 million on a flimsy charge

Some members of the Indian-American community, who have supported Dalal since 2012, said they were disappointed. Dave Makkar, who was present at the sentencing, said Dalal was scapegoated and he blamed Dalal’s arrest on the Indian-American community’s lack of involvement after he was charged. Pradip “Peter” Kothari told India Abroad that the sentencing was “harsh,” clarifying that he is not against punishing Dalal for the crimes he committed.

“Indian-Americans have taken a page out of the Jewish community’s book to enhance relations between the homeland and the motherland,” said Nissim B. Reuben,(by his name and appearance probably a Bene Israeli) program officer for India-Israel-United States Relations at the American Jewish Committee.

Nissim B Reuben is also Assistant Director of AJC‘s Asia Pacific Institute (API)

A teenage Hindu sentenced to 35 years jail time for allegedly instigating (but not actually participating) in an arson attack where no one got hurt may not have been all that good for Indo Israeli or Hindu Jew ties

So the story just disappeared or was buried by Indian media

NOT A SINGLE INDIAN PRINT OR DIGITAL NEWSPAPER OR TV NEWS MEDIA HOUSE DEEMED IT NEWSWORTHY ENOUGH TO MAKE THE FRONT PAGE OR THE NEWS CYCLE

The same Indian media did however go ballistic when someone in America made some doormats with the Indian flag on it

Was there some direction to bury this story?

Source

India Abroad

India West

 

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