Divyendu Sinha : A Life Lost to Teenage Brutality

Last Friday night a horrific incident took place in an otherwise decent neighborhood in Old Bridge New Jersey. Dr. Divyendu Sinha, a forty nine year old Computer scientist, was having a walk outside his house with his wife and two sons when five teenagers came out of their car and started beating Dr. Sinha for no apparent reason. Dr. Sinha was severely injured and was later taken to the hospital where he died on Sunday morning. The brutality of this incident shocked not only the entire Indian American community, but also the society at large. The local law enforcement have arrested all the five perpetrators and have charged them with murder although their names have been withheld due to their age (between 16 and 17). Early reports classified this as a random incident, but according to recent statements from the County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan, bias crime charges will not be ruled out. In a recent meeting with the township officials, the Asian Indian community members have expressed that they have been harassed regularly by the local teenagers, and this is not a random incident at all. The township officials have instructed the community members that they should inform the police whenever they experience such behavior. I hope that the legal process takes due action and the criminals pay the highest price for their dastardly act.

But this will not bring back the father of two young boys, who had to undergo the trauma of watching their father being brutally assaulted by five thugs. Nor it will bring back the husband of a woman who saw how her entire life was shattered by some cruel and mindless criminals. My heart goes out to them. Divyendu was one of us. He was a graduate from IIT Kharagpur (1982 Computer Science, Nehru Hall), the college where I graduated from, and I must have crossed paths with him several times in the campus. My sons are of the same age as his. It could have happened to me, or to anybody for that matter. What kind of hatred and rage was burning within these five kids who could kill a man with their bare hands? What’s happening to this society? Are we losing all civility? What are our schools teaching to our kids? It is true that all schools have few rotten apples, but how could they muster so much courage as to beat up and murder any man on the street they like?
We should all wake up now and realize that we can no longer afford to stay isolated and mind our own business. We should get involved in our communities, school boards and local administration and policy making bodies. We must make a conscious attempt to inculcate our values and ideals within our community and make a positive impact to the society. Let’s make sure that we don’t lose any other Divyendu in the future.

5 thoughts on “Divyendu Sinha : A Life Lost to Teenage Brutality

  1. Dear Author,

    I am a mother of a teen age daughter living in Princeton. As an Indian, I am horrified by the incident and am trying to understand what could have possibly motivated such young kids(at least to me they are kids because they are my child’s age) to commit such a terrible crime. Like you mention how can we allow this to happen in our so called civilized society. Shouldnt schools do a screening for youngs thugs and watch out for disturbing behavior and take some action? It looks like OB residents have put up with a lot and what has the township done about it? How did things come to such a terrible trajic situation? Losing one Sinha is one too much already. Yes, these criminals should be brought to justice but we absolutely need to have the system catch these disturbed minds much earlier.

  2. Attorney General should investigate Sinha Murder
    The brutal murder of Dr Sinha out side his own home by few teenagers of his own town has shaken the Indian Community all over America . The sense of security among the community members has vanished over night. Then reports of racial bias towards Indian community members as narrated during the meeting with Mayor Philips on 6-29-10 has further compounded the fear factor. All investigations related to the brutal murder of Dr Sinha must be handled by AG office. Parents of the teenagers for bad parenting, school teachers & principle for not reporting abnormal behavior of these teenagers to law enforcement and above all 104 Police Officers of Old Bridge must be investigated to find out what went wrong in enforcing law & order. Impartial investigations by AG office will send right message on the street that there is accountability for crimes committed against minorities and it is safe for minorities to raise their families in NJ

    Rajnikant was brutally beaten under Racial Bias by Michael Dotro in front of 30-40 Indians. Kaplan refused to take their testimony by saying they are not credible witnesses because every body is saying same thing. Later on Parikh was deported in violation of US laws & human rights. State & ICE spent more than $100,000.00 & kept Parikh in Jail for over 8 months and still denied him Fair & Open Trail just to save a WHITE cop Dotro whom Paikh accused of Police Brutality under Racial Bias.
    Schwartz led Police Union, members, supporters & family members called, “Indians are cockroaches, animals, illiterates and illegal go home.” These are the worst ever called Racial Slurs for any community in over 200 years history of America . Police Dept, Mayor & Twp of Edison has yet to give verbal or written apology because community leaders like Upendra Chivukula feels these Slurs are Compliments for the community!

  3. My condolences to the Sinha family. This is a tragedy that can happen to any one of us. I agree that we should get involved in the local community and get to the know the people who run the towns. The best way to fight bigotry and hatred is to be inclusive and open up our hearts and minds to the local people. Our kids can be a good place to start. Elementary and middle schools are usually ideal places to get involved. They appreciate any help the parents can give during the countless events during the school year.

  4. Dear Every one:

    Please send letters to Gov. Christie by going directly on his official web site & to Attorney General Paula Dow after making required changes for State investigation into the brutal murder of Mr. Sinha in racial attack on 6-25-10 as per the attached letter sent to Gov. Christie. Please do not send information about Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan. Local authorities are trying to cover up this incident as stray incident. It is more than 1 week they have yet to release the names of the attackers of Dr Sinha who happens to be the residents of same town as Dr Sinha.

    Gov. Chris Christie

    AG Paula Dow


    http:// justicefordivyendufamily. wordpress.com/

    http://www.petitiononline. com/divyendu/petition.html

    Via Facsimile, E-mail & Regular Mail

    July 6, 2010

    Gov. Chris Christie

    State Of New Jersey

    Fax: 609 292 3454

    Re: Brutal Murder of Dr. Divyendu Sinha due to a racial attack on June 25, 2010

    Hon. Chris Christie:

    The brutal murder of 49 yrs old eminent professor Dr Diveyndu Sinha out side his own home in Old Bridge by few teenagers of the town has shaken the Indian Community all over America with revived fear for their safety. The sense of security among the community members has vanished over night. Then the report of racial bias towards the Old Bridge Indian community as narrated by the members during the meeting with Mayor Philips on 6-29-10 has further compounded the fear factor along with outrage.

    We request your honor that all investigations related to the brutal murder of Dr Sinha under racial bias must be handled by Bias Crime Unit of Attorney General’s Office. The sham investigations by Old Bridge Police under a known Indian Hater Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan is an insult to the victims; Late Dr Sinha, his 2 children age 12 & 16, wife & entire community of Indian origin living in New Jersey and America.

    There should be prosecution of the parents of the teenagers for bad parenting, school teachers & principle for not reporting abnormal behavior of these teenagers involved in the murder to law enforcement agencies. Above all 104 Police Officers of Old Bridge Twp must be investigated and interrogated separately to find out what went wrong in ensuring law & order including neighborhood patrolling to prevent such crimes. All of them can not take a stand that they were unaware what the teenagers were doing in the town. The Police Chief of Old Bridge must be fired immediately and charged with failure to perform his fiduciary duties. Those found guilty out of the 104 Officers must be discharged from the force and prosecuted for failure to perform their duties and for aiding the brutal murder of Dr Sinha in a racial attack due to their negligence.

    This incident has brought so many India American families of NJ like my family under constant fear especially when they are aware of the fact that majority in their town’s Police departments treat Indians with contempt and racial bias.

    Impartial investigations by Attorney General’s office will send the right message on the street that there is accountability for crimes committed against minorities and it is safe for the minorities to raise their families in New Jersey.

    Further residents of New Jersey must be assured that the Police Departments of the towns are for Law Enforcement and prevention of crimes only. Police Departments in conjunction with corrupt Municipal Courts are not merely revenue generating entities for the townships to implement traffic summons quota designed by the Politicians to generate revenues. These Traffic Summons Quota are primarily being used against minorities and diverting the Police Force from their primary job of Law Enforcement and Prevention of serious crimes.

    Devendra ‘Dave’ Makkar

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