Restaurateur Satish Mehtani flipped through the pages of an elaborate scrapbook detailing his work as a humanitarian, through his organization, International Mission of Mercy.

There are pictures of him with Mother Teresa, Pope Benedict and Bill Clinton, and various Congress members and ambassadors.

There are letters of thanks for providing food and other disaster relief to people in places far and wide; Kuwaitis displaced by the 1990 Iraq invasion, recovery workers at the World Trade Center after the terror attacks, Japanese devastated by last year’s tsunami.

He has a new campaign in Nigeria to distribute thousands of clean hypodermic needles to stop the spread of HIV, and he has another new local cause: Dharun Ravi.

Ravi was convicted last month on bias intimidation and invasion of privacy charges for using a webcam to spy on his Rutgers roommate, Tyler Clementi, who was with another man. Clementi later committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.

On Friday, Mehtani will open his Mirage banquet hall in Edison, the largest Indian catering hall in the state, to a growing force of Indian-Americans who have concerns about how the Ravi case was handled by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. They have also scheduled a rally outside the Statehouse on May 14, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“This is the talk of our community,” said Mehtani, who expects about 400 people. “We Indians feel very strongly that this boy didn’t get proper justice. He was used as an example by the prosecutor, and punishment he faces does not fit the crime.”


Dharun Ravi speaks out about webcam spying trial

Enlarge John O’Boyle / The Star-Ledger Dharun Ravi inside his Plainsboro home on March 21. Ravi, a former Rutgers student, was recently convicted of bias charges during the webcam spying trial that gained national attention. (John O’Boyle/The Star-Ledger) Dharun Ravi speaks out about webcam spying trialgallery (8 photos)

  • Dharun Ravi speaks out about webcam spying trial
  • Dharun Ravi speaks out about webcam spying trial
  • Dharun Ravi speaks out about webcam spying trial
  • Dharun Ravi speaks out about webcam spying trial
  • Dharun Ravi speaks out about webcam spying trial

Ravi’s case has been discussed widely in Indian language newspapers, and on EBC, a South Asian Radio station, and ITV, an Indian-American public access station in New York. Poonam Bhuchar, a Princeton immigration attorney, who has hosted the radio discussion several times, said a momentum is building.

“As people learned more about the facts of the case, there is greater concern among Indians that this boy was prosecuted harshly,” she said.

Since the verdict, an online petition on the White House website was signed by 13,749 people, and another 2,000 signed local petitions asking that the case — and the hate crime statute that seems to be subjective — be re-examined.

“We want to know why Dharun Ravi is charged with a hate crime, but the people charged with attacking an Indian family and beating the father to death are not,” said Sandeep Sharma, a business partner of Ravi’s father, referring to the case of five Old Bridge teenagers charged with killing Divendyu Sinha in 2010. Sinha and his two teenage sons were punched repeatedly in an unprovoked attack, and the trial for one of the teens is now under way.

On Tuesday morning, Ravi’s attorney Steve Altman, will file briefs seeking a new trial for Ravi, who was convicted on 15 counts of bias intimidation, privacy invasion, and related charges last month, and faces 10 years in state prison. The wide-ranging motion will claim the verdict went against the weight of evidence, and that the jury was not instructed to discount Clementi’s suicide as proof of intimidation.

The motion also cites pieces of evidence that may have shed light on Clementi’s suicide, which were withheld from the defense and ruled inadmissible. The defense will argue this evidence should have been turned over once it became known that the suicide was going to be mentioned during the trial.

The motion also asks that Ravi remain free on bail pending appeals. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 21.

Sharma said some influential people in the Indian-American community want to “bring awareness” to what they believe was a prosecution that was influenced by gay rights activists and a national outcry over misstated facts of the case.

“We’re trying to use democratic, public support to reverse what was done to Dharun,” Sharma said. “We’re trying to bring awareness and apply the same kind of pressure we believe was put on the prosecution to make an example out of Dharun.”

Dharun Ravi convicted of bias intimidation for Tyler Clementi spying case Dharun Ravi convicted of bias intimidation for Tyler Clementi spying case A Middlesex County jury convicted former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi, 20, on charges of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation this morning, ending a three-week trial that captured international attention. Ravi was convicted on parts of all the 15 counts against him stemming from an incident in September 2010, when Ravi set up a webcam to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi, during a sexual encounter with another man. The other victim was not named in the trial and identified by prosecutors only as M.B. (Video by Mike Roy and Nyier Abdou/The Star-Ledger) Watch video

In the days after Clementi’s suicide, Garden State Equality, which claims to be the state’s “largest civil rights organization” with 77,000 members, put out a press release calling the case “one of the most unconscionable, hate-related deaths of a student in the history of the State of New Jersey.”

“Today we learned that a Rutgers freshman committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate and other students apparently broadcast the freshman — without his knowledge — making out with another man.” The press release also said the “video was widely disseminated.”

“These were the kind of statements that clouded the facts of the case,” Sharma said. “We now know there was no internet broadcast, no video, there still seems to be a mystery about why Tyler committed suicide. Most important, we believe our side proved Dharun didn’t act of out hate.”

Mehtani said the Indian community stood by, allowing justice to take its course, but the verdict was stunning.

“We aren’t a hateful people,” he said. “We were very offended and insulted by that verdict.”

A number of influential Indian-Americans have offered support for Ravi, including Victor Khubani, a billionaire with diverse holdings in television marketing and real estate, and Peter (Pradip) Kothari, founder of the Indian-American Business Association, who has been active in New Jersey politics for three decades.

Kothari said bias intimidation laws were designed to protect minorities from violence, and recalled vicious attacks on Indians in Jersey City and Hoboken in the 1990s, which led to the death of one man.

“Ravi did something wrong, but that does not imply a hate crime,” Kothari said. “There was no violence. For this community, which endured so much intimidation and physical violence, to see this young man accused of a hate crime is very disturbing.”

By admin

Satya Dosapati is an activist based in the US working on causes for both India and US. He played an instrumental role in the introduction of paper trail for India’s Electronic Voting Machines called VVPAT that put Indian democracy on a strong foothold by bringing in top international experts and demonstrating the vulnerabilities in Indian EVMs working with local organizations and CEC Qureshi. He organized an All American Rally for Trump bringing in various ethnic communities together in support of Trump Presidential Election that was acknowledged by Republican party and then candidate Trump. The event was covered by most of the national media in Pennsylvania. He is well known for challenging 100 and 30 million dollar lawsuits from Sonia Gandhi proxies in the US when he coordinated a UN protest against Sonia Gandhi representing Mahatma Gandhi values at UN and taking a full page Ad in New York Times exposing her. He has several successes in an activist movement from forcing Andhra Pradesh CM YSR in 2007 in banning conversions inside Hindu temples, bringing attention to the plight of backward caste minor girls in West Bengal being kidnapped and thrown into sexual slavery through love jihad. He led a protest against University of Pennsylvania (Wharton economic forum) for dropping Narendra Modi from keynote speech because of allegations of some leftist professors and got a (private) apology from UPenn President . He initiated the first anti-corruption conference working with Ajit Doval and Dr. Swamy before Anna Hazare protest at New Delhi Vivekananda International foundation and brought in top international anti-corruption personnel from UN (UNODC) and Europe (Eurodad) and other institutions. His YouTube presentation on Plunder of India by Sonia UPA received nearly 2 lacs hits. He was also engaged in animal rights movements in the US for health, environment, and compassion. He received his bachelors from IIT Chennai with graduate degrees in US and is pursuing a career in Telecom in the US. He is a conservative and proud member of the US National Rifle Association (NRA). His Koo id is @SatyaDosapati and several of his articles were published in PGurus and OpIndia news portals. His blog is