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Attack on Hindu priest in US.

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A Hindu priest wearing religious attire was attacked near a temple in New York’s Queens Area last week, United States news channel PIX 11 has reported. Swami Harish Chander Puri said he was repeatedly assaulted by a man, who approached him from behind, around 11 am on July 18. He suffered bruises all over his body, including his face.

 

“He was very angry,” the priest told the news channel. “I am in a little pain. Sometimes people have no control.”

Some of the devotees at the temple alleged Puri was targeted because of his dress. They claimed the attacker cried out “this is my neighborhood” during the assault. A New York Police Department spokesperson said Puri was punched and hit with an object such as an umbrella.

The police arrested 52-year-old Sergio Gouveia in connection with the attack. He’s being charged with assault, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon. The police are looking into whether the attack should be investigated as a hate crime, the channel said.

 

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Former A.P. Assembly Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao Commits suicide

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Hyderabad: Senior Telugu Desam Party leader and former speaker of Andhra Pradesh Assembly Kodela Siva Prasada Rao was declared dead at a hospital in Hyderabad on Monday amid speculation that he committed suicide. He was 72.

Mystery appeared to shroud the death of Rao as the exact cause of death was not immediately known and a senior police official told PTI that the matter is being investigated.

TDP politburo member Ravula Chandrasekhar Reddy said Rao was reportedly brought to the Basavatarakam Cancer hospital by his staff. Rao, a medical doctor, has been a director of the Basavatarakam Cancer hospital.

 

Reddy said he and other TDP leaders visited the hospital after coming to know about the former Andhra speaker’s death. Rao’s daughter, who was present at the hospital, was in a state of shock, and they could not ask her what had happened, Reddy said.

Police investigation was on into the matter, he added.

Rao, who lost the Assembly elections in May this year from Sattenapalli in Guntur district, was the speaker of the Assembly during 2014–19. He was elected to the Assembly from Guntur district on six occasions.

He had been a member of the TDP since its inception and held key portfolios including home, major irrigation, panchayat raj, rural development and health, in the governments of TDP founder late N. T. Rama Rao and incumbent TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Telangana chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, state BJP chief K. Laxman and several other leaders condoled the senior TDP leader’s death.

Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telegu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu has demanded a CBI probe in the apparent suicide of former Andhra Speaker and senior leader of TDP Kodela Siva Prasad Rao.

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