Rep. Frank Pallone has promised to pressure the Trump administration to do more to prevent hate crimes. The Congressman from New Jersey held a roundtable discussion with Indian American leaders to discuss issues like immigration and hate crimes April 20, at a Hindu temple in Edison, N.J. Pallone, a co-founder of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, called it an honor to interact with community leaders and praised the South Asian communities for their “tremendous contributions” to the country.
Organized by Amit Jani, Pallone’s former Congressional aide, the event discussed about concrete steps that could be taken. Among those steps, the need for sensitivity training for the community and law enforcement, and “shooter training” in places like temples and mosques, that have been subjected to attacks around the country.
“The hate crimes we have seen in recent month are completely unacceptable and this bigotry must strengthen our resolve to work towards tolerance and provide justice and protection for victims who have been targeted,” Pallone is quoted saying in a press release. “I will also push the Trump administration to do more to combat the growing number of hate crimes throughout our nation and step back from the toxic rhetoric on immigration, race, and religion that is dividing our nation.”
The attendees included Edison Councilwoman Sapana Shah; South Brunswick Board of Education Member Deven Patel; Kanu Patel, CEO of Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS); BAPS representative – Vinay Limbachia; Indian Business Association (IBA) President Dhiren Amin; – South Asian Registration Initiative (SARI) Chairman – Ritesh Shah; Sudhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus – Board Member – Savith Sampath; Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund representative, Raj Groomer; South Asian American Caucus (New Jersey Democratic State Committee) Co-Chair – Satish Poondi; TV Asia Senior Vice President and News Director Rohit Vyas; New Jersey South Asian Bar Association President Bhaveen Jani; South Asians for America (SAFA) Co-Chair Neha Dewan; Association of Indian Americans in North America (AIANA) President Sunil Nayak; Rutgers Indian American Group Leader Priya Kantesaria, a student leader; Edison Indian Senior Citizen Association President Ghansyam Patel; Bengali American Women’s Development Initiative (BAWDI) Founder Nadia Hussain; and Bengali community leader Kumud Roy.