U.S. police have arrested two more teenagers on charges of murdering an Indian computer scientist taking to five total number of suspects held in the case, even as they did not rule out racial bias behind the incident.
49-year-old Divyendu Sinha, an IIT Kharagpur alumnus, was brutally attacked by three teenagers outside his home at Old Bridge in New Jersey last Friday. He succumbed to his injuries on Monday.
The New Jersey police late Thursday night arrested two more boys, one 17 and the other 16. Previously on Monday, three other suspects were arrested. Names of none of the assailants have been released, as they are being treated as juveniles.
Charges of aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit an aggravated assault and criminal mischief were also filed against all five teens after investigators learned they were involved in a separate unrelated attack before beating Sinha, the police said.
“The initial focus of the probe has been to determine who was responsible for the murder of Sinha,” Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J Kaplan said.
“Now that five individuals have been arrested and charged, we will be making every effort to assess whether racial bias played a role in the attack and, if so, we will bring appropriate charges,” Mr. Kaplan said.
Author of several books on computer imaging, Sinha was attacked near his home by the three male teenagers, when he and his sons were going for a walk on last Friday evening, the police said.
His sons were not seriously injured in the attack. The three individuals, each said to be 17 years, were arrested soon thereafter and charged with homicide.
Sinha’s death has sparked concern in the large Indian-American community in Old Bridge city.
A delegation of Indian-Americans met township officials this week, who alleged that there has been increasing instances of such crimes against them.
Assemblyman Upendra J Chivukula, Deputy Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, spoke with Mayor of Old Bridge James Phillips and Kaplan to discuss the ongoing case.
“This attack is horrific. My heart goes out to Sinha’s family. This random act of violence reminds us how precious life is. I want to thank Prosecutor Kaplan and the police in their quick response and investigation,” Mr. Chivukula said in a statement.