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New Jersey township's tribute to slain engineer

By Suman Guha Mozumder
September 08, 2010 20:53 IST
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The Federation of Indian Associations has come out with proposals to perpetuate the memory of murdered Old Bridge, New Jersey, computer science engineer Divyendu Sinha and to enhance safety and security in the neighborhood after a meeting with township Mayor James Phillips last week.

An FIA delegation from the tri-state area led by its president Nirav Mehta met with the mayor July 31 in a bid to build what it described as 'a public-citizen dialogue relating to Sinha's homicide'.

Five teenagers allegedly assaulted Sinha while he was on an after-dinner walk with his family June 25. He succumbed to his injuries June 28.

In a lengthy and often heated discussion, the FIA presented Mayor Phillips with a five-point agenda, which sought clarifications about the progress of the investigation and the motive of the crime.

The FIA also proposed to rename a major Old Bridge road or park after Sinha to perpetuate his memory. Phillips supported the FIA demand and agreed to name a park as the Dr Sinha Park. The FIA also requested a science room in the high school to be named after Sinha.

"The FIA is planning an initiative to hold the biggest block party in the area where Sinha's family lives. The aim of the party is to bring everyone from the township closer to each other to unite against crime," Mehta said.

The FIA, he said, intends to take the dialogue to the next level, including having a meeting with the police chief to address security concerns, a discussion with the school board for an education program that will create better awareness about immigration and its positive impact; as well as securing a compensation for Sinha's family.

Another group, Citizens of Old Bridge New Jersey, which was set up in the aftermath of Sinha's murder by township residents, met with Philip as well as council chair, Kevin Collegera and police Sergeant Robert Greenway on setting up the Neighborhood Crime Watch Patrol.

COBNJ said Greenway explained how the NCWP works, including forming a core group to cover the areas around Trans-Old Bridge Road; distribution of fliers to all homes in the area announcing the formation of the NCWP and soliciting those who are interested to be part of it.

The organisational structure is simple with one group leader who will liaison with the police department and each neighborhood having a team leader who will set and monitor the patrol schedule.

The FIA also urged students to report any bullying/assault incident to the principal and police without fear.

It has also formed a seven-member committee consisting of citizens of Old Bridge, community leaders and lawyers to follow the progress in the case.

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Suman Guha Mozumder