Dhaka     Saturday   06 March 2021

Senator who gave Zia title of Declarer of Independence arrested

Staff Reporter, USA || risingbd.com

Published: 14:18, 13 January 2021   Update: 14:22, 13 January 2021
Senator who gave Zia title of Declarer of Independence arrested

Police have arrested the New York state senator Luis Sepúlveda who gave Ziaur Rahman the title of 'Declarer of Independence' of Bangladesh.

On March 26, 2015, on the occasion of Bangladesh's Independence Day, the New York State Senate passed a resolution referring to Ziaur Rahman as the 'Declarer of Independence' of Bangladesh.

Police arrested him on Tuesday for allegedly trying to suffocate his divorced wife. To the expatriate Bangladeshis in the Bronx, New York, he is known as 'Lewis Bhai'.

He tried to suffocate his divorced wife last Saturday at his home in the Bronx area, New York. He was arrested on the basis of his wife's allegations. A source in the NYPD's Detective department said.

State Sen. Luis Sepúlveda, 56, faces a charge of criminal obstruction of breathing in connection with the encounter Saturday at his Bronx home, NYPD spokesperson Detective Sophia Mason said. Information on his arraignment wasn’t immediately available.

Sepúlveda, a Democrat representing parts of the Bronx since 2018, was removed Tuesday as chair of the state Senate’s Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee. He was also stripped of other committee assignments.

Sepúlveda’s lawyer called the allegation “false” and said it was “a calculated attempt by a disgruntled party to leverage a divorce settlement.”

Records show Sepúlveda’s wife filed for a dissolution of their marriage on Nov. 2 in Orange County, Florida, where they own a home. A lawyer listed in court records as representing Sepúlveda’s wife in the divorce case said through a secretary that she could not discuss the matter.

Mason said police were called to Sepúlveda’s Bronx home around 5:45 a.m. Saturday for a domestic incident. He and his wife, 40, accused each other of assault, police said.

Sepúlveda’s wife previously sought an order of protection against him in 2015, when he was a member of the state Assembly. Sepúlveda said at the time that it was a temporary order later withdrawn by his wife. Both said that in that incident they had an argument but that it never turned violent.

Chhabed Sathee/Mukul