Sep 2019
Sep 2019

Amit Jani, former aide to NJ Gov. Phil Murphy, hired by Joe Biden’s 2020 Presidential campaign

Amit Jani, a former aide to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), has been hired to serve as National Asian American Pacific Islander Director for former vice president Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.

Jani is currently a school board member of the Hudson County Schools of Technology in NJ.

Jani has previously served as the Asian American Pacific Islander outreach director for Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign, as well as the re-election campaign for US Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). He previously worked as a congressional aide to Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. and Judy Chu, his bio noted.

“It’s an honor to join a candidate in Vice President Joe Biden, with whom the Asian American Pacific Islander community can trust to represent and reflect the community’s values and principles,” Jani said in a statement released by South Asians for America, of which he is a co-chair.

Jani is the son of late Suresh Jani, one of the founders of Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) in the US.

Newsreports said the post could be a path to a top job in a Biden administration, adding Biden and his team hope the diverse staff can help them rebuild the diverse coalition that Barack Obama captured in 2008.

Jani has also served as a Congressional Aide to Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.; Congresswoman Judy Chu and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), as well as the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

“It is encouraging that campaigns like that of Vice President Joe Biden are making the Asian American Pacific Islander community a priority, given the community’s rapid growth and success in the United States,” said South Asians For America co-chair Neha Dewan. “We are proud that Amit Jani will be representing the community at this level and know he will do a tremendous job at making sure the community is visible and its input is considered at the grassroots level nationally.”

Jani serves as the President of the New Jersey Leadership Program, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to engaging South Asian youth to government and politics. He serves on the boards of several national organizations, including South Asians For America, Act to Change and the New Leaders Council.

Sep 2019

Ajay Dhingra, 43, of Texas, first to be indicted for illegal possession of a riffle bump stock since its ban in the US

An Indian American man has been indicted in Texas for possessing a bump stock attached to his rifle, the first known case since the device was banned by the Trump administration earlier this year.

Prosecutors said Ajay Dhingra, 43, of Houston, is charged with possessing a machine gun, two counts of making false statements to acquire a firearm and possessing a firearm after having been judged a mental defective or being committed to a mental institution.

The bump stocks are the attachments that enable semiautomatic rifles to fire in sustained, rapid bursts.

Authorities were tipped off about Dhingra last month when he called the George W. Bush Foundation and left a "concerning message."

The Associated Press, citing court records, reported that Dhingra also sent an email to the foundation asking the former president to "send one of your boys to come and murder me."

Dhingra was also found to have been previously committed to a mental institution and was barred from possessing a firearm or ammunition.

Dhingra is being held in a federal detention center in Houston.

The nationwide bump stock ban took effect in March of this year, under the same federal law that prohibits possessing machine guns. The devices became a focal point of the national gun control debate after the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, in which a gunman opened fire on a music festival, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds more.

Investigators found that the gunman used a bump stock to fire 1,100 rounds of ammunition from the 32nd-floor suite of his hotel.

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