Questions Prepared By My Lawyer For Immigration Court Date Tomorrow

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...Image via WikipediaImmigration Court Date: June 6, 2011: Prepared Statement
June 3 Immigration Court Date

1. What is your name?

My name is Paramendra Bhagat.

2. Where were you born?

I was born in a hospital in the city of Darbhanga in the state of Bihar in India. I don't have a birth certificate. They don't do that where I grew up.

3. Why are you seeking asylum in the US?

I show up in Nepal and I am dead meat. My instincts tell me so. It is the same instincts that told me in February 2007 that Barack Obama was the next President of the United States.

4. By whom you fear for your life in Nepal?

There are a few different actors and groups that might want to harm me. The people who lost power in 2006, the Maoists who still dream of a one party dictatorship brought about by an armed revolution, rivals in the Madhesi groups, violent and nonviolent, who might be dead set in their own views and methods, separatist armed Madhesis.

5. Why do you think you will be subjected to political assassination?

I am high profile. I spent six months in jail in America for being the top Obama volunteer in the city of his primary rival. That was political. I was the only Nepali in America who did full time work for Nepal's democracy movement of 2006 and the Madhesi movement of 2007. That kind of visibility puts you in harm's way. If my political enemies in New York City can do what they did to me, what do you think my political enemies in Nepal will do?

6. Why do you think that due to your ethnicity (Madhesi) you will be subject to political assassination?

Nepal is a country where they absolutely hate Indians like me. The Tamils in Sri Lanka also have it tough. They are also Indian origin. I was the top student at the top school in Nepal year after year. The number two guy from that time period went to Harvard. The Pahadis who ran the place destroyed the final three and a half years of my high school experience. Ethnic prejudice and hatred was their motivation. They feared I was a future Prime Minister and they were not going to have any of it. I was not even of legal age when they first spotted me like that.

7. By whom do you think that you will be assassinated due to your Madhesi ethnicity?

You ask me like you were asking who chairs the MTA in New York City. Look, a question like that necessarily has vague answers.

8. Why do you think that they will harm you due to your Madhesi ethnicity?

They already did. 20 years ago. All I have to do is show up in the Nepali circles in Queens to feel that ethnic prejudice and hatred all over again. I don't know. Why do people hate you for what your background might be? Makes no sense. I was Barack Obama's top volunteer in New York City, perhaps the country, definitely his first full time volunteer. And they published a list of Nepali Obama supporters in the city in a Nepali newspaper in Queens, and my name was not even on the list. How do you think that works? But I am not trying to stay in America to escape the ethnic prejudice. I have experienced plenty of racism in this country itself, although the degrees of prejudice are different. I think we all know how this racism and prejudice thing works.

9. To your knowledge have they assassinated anybody due to their Madhesi ethnicity?

There have been massacres. There have been ethnic riots. Not long after the Madhesi movement of 2007 my brother-in-law's father got butchered into pieces. To this day we don't know who did it. No one came out to take responsibility. Not taking responsibility would be the best way to do it, don't you think?

10. What is their ethnicity?

In Nepal, there are two broad groups, Pahadi and Madhesi. And there are many sub groups within those two.

11. Which ethnicity group is majority in Nepal?

There are groups, and there are sub groups, and there are sub sub groups. But broadly speaking there are Madhesis and there are Pahadis, like in Rwanda they have Hutus and Tutsis. Strictly speaking all ethnic groups in Nepal are minority. It is not a numbers thing. The Pahadis rule Nepal. They think Madhesis are Indians who have no business being part of the state in Nepal.

12. How will they know or come to know your ethnicity?

If you are a Nepali, you take one look at my face and you know I am a Madhesi. It is guttural.

13. Presently there are thousands of Madhesis who live in Nepal. Given that why do you think that your life will be in danger due to your Madhesi ethnicity?

It is not just my Madhesi identity. It is my political activism. I told you earlier I was the only Nepali in America who did full time work for Nepal's democracy movement of 2006 and the Madhesi movement of 2007.

14. You also indicated that due to your political beliefs also you will be subject to political assassination?

I am a progressive. I am a democrat, as in I believe in multi-party democracy. I believe in equality for Madhesis in Nepal. In a country where the people who have hogged the entire state structure don't even think of someone of me as being Nepali, in a country where the largest political party still talks of an armed revolution to establish a one party communist state, my political views can get problematic.

15. What are your political views?

I believe in human rights, in multi-party democracy, in social justice, in equality.

16. Who will assassinate you due to your political views?

Who chairs the MTA? I think you should start at the other end, as to how easy it might be for someone who intends hard to do harm. A cabinet minister in Nepal was stabbed multiple times right in front of his house only a few weeks back and the perpetrators are still at large. Of course I don't specifically know who. The real thing to note is you might not know who even after it happens should it happen.

17. How they will come to know your political views?

My political views have been public knowledge for years. I ran the largest Nepali political mailing list in the world a few years back.

18. You also said that your political abilities and the intense visibility will invite harm to you upon your return? Could you please explain that?

People started talking of me as a future Prime Minister of Nepal when I was three plus years away from finishing high school. Before I came to America I was Vice General Secretary to a political party in Nepal that had two members in parliament, I was not old enough to legally run for political office. I came to America and within six months of landing got myself elected student body president at the top liberal arts college in the South, in Bible Belt country. They had to amend the constitution so I could run as a freshman. I am a Deaniac from 2004. The Dean brothers know me to this day. I was Barack Obama's first full time volunteer in New York City, perhaps the country. The founder of Manhattan For Obama at an Upper East Side party in 2007 organized by a Harvard Law School classmate, later Chicago law firm colleague, and family friend of Barack Obama, said the US constitution should be changed so some day I could run for President of the United States. The founder of Brooklyn For Barack at one point insinuated in a private one on one talk that I did not seem to have elected office ambitions because I don't have the option to run for president. Barack almost took Brooklyn during the February 2008 primary. Things were looking so bad before the primary day, Congressman Weiner urged Hillary to make an appearance in Brooklyn, and she did. They had me disappear the precise day the national primary ended in 2008. They feared I might miss the message. Charlie Rangel was personally involved. In jail at one point they threatened to "send me off to Chicago." After I came out they had my first immigration court date in Chicago. My request for change of venue was not granted.

19. By whom do you think you will be assassinated due to your political abilities and the intense visibility?

Who chairs the MTA?

20. Could you describe your political abilities?

You see all that stuff going on across the Arab world and in Africa today? I am the top authority on the planet on that topic.

21. Could you describe your intense visibilities?

Everyone who is someone in Nepali politics knows me. The Dean brothers know me. Barack Obama knows me. Michelle Obama knows me. Charlie Rangel knows me. And I know Charlie Rangel back.

22. How they will come to know your political abilities and intense visibilities?

It is all online.

23. You also said that because of your association with Madhesi Janadhikar Forum you will be subject to political assassination. What is Janadhikar Forum?

That is old news. That MJF has split two times since I last showed up in this court. It is due to the self hate of a people that are discriminated against. I am not a formal member of any Madhesi organization, not in Nepal, not in the US. That is not how I roll. For that matter I did not sit on any committee as an Obama volunteer in this city. My ways are digital. I employ the butterfly effect. It is cutting edge stuff.

24. What are their policies?

The MJF is for human rights, multi-party democracy, federalism, and social justice. It wants equality for the Madhesis inside Nepal. But then by now there are three of them. They split like bananas.

25. What is your relationship to this Forum?

Not only the MJF, but also the other Madhesi political parties in Nepal, I have been an inspiration. I have offered tactics and strategies digitally.

26. Who will harm you because of your association with this Forum?

Who chairs the MTA?

27. Are there any members of the Forum in Nepal present?

There are three political parties by that name in Nepal today. So, yes, they have voters, members, MPs.

28. If they can live in Nepal why can’t you live in Nepal?

There is not one MJF person who is a future Prime Minister. They can not command the visibility I can.

29. Why do you fear from the remnant elements of the old political order?

Look at what happened in Iraq after Saddam was toppled. The old order fought back. The old order in Nepal still has a major influence in Nepal's army, and the Nepal Army is not fully under the parliament, and elements of the Nepal Army are known to engage in the global drug trade, and a former Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal was recently seen marching in a parade with a big league mafia don in the capital city.

30. Who are they?

You ask for clear cut answers where there are only vague hints.

31. Can you identify some names?

I can't. I could take some guesses. But it would be unwise.

32. What is your role in the democracy movement of April 2006?

I worked full time for it for a year and a half before that. And for a year after that.

33. Why are you afraid of Maoists?

I am not afraid. I have wanted to do business with them. I have wanted to mainstream them. I have wanted to turn Nepal into a multi-party democracy of state funded parties so the Maoists would no longer feel the need for an armed revolution. The work still goes on. But I have to face the fact that their commitment to the gun is still there. And they are a large party with many levels of leadership. They have plenty of undisciplined elements. You do have to fear people who think violence is legitimate politics.

34. How do they know your activities?

The number one Maoist had the number two Maoist under house arrest early in 2005 after I digitally approached the number two guy to think in terms of a democratic republic to forge an alliance with the democrats against the dictator king. They know.

35. Are you against the Maoists?

I am opposed to political violence. I am opposed to a one party dictatorship. But I don't have issues with a party wanting to empower the poor, implement social programs for them, bring about equality for the marginalized ethnic groups. The Maoist army is 40% female. You have to admire that.

36. Why are you against the Maoists?

I want the Maoists to continue with their political messages of social justice, but I want them to help turn Nepal into a multi party democracy of state funded parties, and I want them to put the gun down, instead contest periodic elections. I am still working on it.

37. How do you know that Maoists are aware of your opposition to them?

They have known me for years, as have many of the top political players in Nepal. That includes many past Prime Ministers going decades back.

38. You also stated that you fear for your life by Pahadi Power brokers?

In Rwanda they got Hutu and Tutsi. In Nepal they got Pahadi and Madhesi. Nepal has never had a Madhesi Prime Minister and they would like to keep it that way.

39. Who are the Pahadi Power brokers?

The three largest political parties in Nepal. The army. The police. The state apparatus.

40. Why are you afraid of Nepali Congress?

Two of the guys who destroyed my high school experience two decades back were Nepali Congress guys.

41. How do you know that Nepali Congress is aware of you?

They have been aware of me for 20 years now.

42. Why do you think that the Maoist will view you as an American agent?

Maybe they no longer do after America had me in jail for six months. I can't tell you.

43. By who else do you fear for your life?

I think we already covered all the bases. I don't have anything to add.

44. Why do you think that the armed Madhesi group will harm you?

There is not one armed Madhesi group. There are dozens of them. They want a separate country for Madhesis. When the LTTE in Sri Lanka wanted a separate country for Tamils, the first people they finished off were other Tamils who were trying to work within the system nonviolently.

45. Are you not supportive of their separatist cause?

I don't want the country of Nepal to be split. I don't want political violence. What I want is federalism. Long term I want a South Asian economic union.

46. If not, why?

The separatist agenda is a dumb agenda. It is impractical. It asks for political violence. For all the ethnic prejudice in Nepal, the number one issue for all ethnic groups is poverty, and large economic blocs like India, China, America grow faster than smaller principalities. A South Asian economic union would be the solution to Nepal's land lockedness.

47. How those groups will come to know about your opposition to their goals and means?

I have been a hero to them. They know me fine. My brother-in-law who is at Harvard Medical School right now, his father was brutally murdered in 2007. His body was chopped into pieces like a butcher's meat. The police said at least five individuals must have been involved. To this day no one knows for sure who did it. There were all sorts of rumors. Two of the largest rival armed Madhesi groups blamed each other. 700 armed cadres of one left the group and joined the other as if in protest. Some people blamed the Maoists. Others blamed some low caste groups in the village. Some blamed some Muslim youths in the village who a few days later fled. The largest armed Madhesi group blamed the Prime Minister of the country - Nepal has never had a Madhesi Prime Minister - and retaliated by murdering a close relative of the Prime Minister. If you are going to kill a Paramendra Bhagat relative, we are going to kill one of yours. That was the thinking. In a case of internalized rage, Bisun ended up blaming his own brother and that brother's wife.

I want to make it absolutely clear that I have never had any contact with any armed Madhesi group ever and there have been over a dozen of them. But their thinking highly of me should tell you how much I have mattered to the Madhesi Movement.

But the worst happened a few weeks later. The story about the Muslim youths caught fire. My family lives in the eastern plains of Nepal. In the western plains a prominent Muslim from the then Prime Minister's party was murdered by two gunmen on a motorbike who managed to flee. Many suspect one of the two largest armed Madhesi groups might have been involved. That murder sparked riots that engulfed a few different districts. The riots were Pahadi-Madhesi, Hindu-Muslim. The riots lasted two weeks and were so bad the police and the army were not able to penetrate hundreds of square miles for those weeks. There was much damage to lives and property. It is very possible there is leftover anger. Do you think there are at least some people who don't believe I have had nothing to do with any of the armed Madhesi groups?

48. You stated that you are the MLK to the 13 million Madhesis. What do you mean by that?

There are half a dozen Madhesi political parties in Nepal and dozens of small and big armed Madhesi groups. I am this distant symbol to them.

49. Are the Madhesis view you like that?

When Upendra Yadav, leader of the largest Madhesi party and fourth largest party overall after the April 10, 2008 elections to the constituent assembly in Nepal, landed in Los Angeles in July 2007 for the annual conference of Nepalis in America, his first words were "Where is Paramendra Bhagat?" They took him to the hotel. He again asked, "Where is Paramendra Bhagat?" They had to fly him over to NYC to meet me. We had never met before.

50. How do you know that?

Look, I am not looking for a statue in my name. I just want to get the work done and stay safe. Once Nepal achieves federalism, the Madhesis will at least have the tools with which to achieve equality. I would be happy to help, I would be equally happy to get out of the way.

51. What do you mean by the MLK death?

A MLK death is a singular assassination of someone exceptionally high profile whose exit from the scene is known to bring about a setback to a cause that might not fully recover from it for decades. The most important thing about going up Mount Everest is to come back alive.

52. Whom you think will kill you?

This is the fourth time you have asked me this specific question.

53. You stated that while in jail you received two death threats, could you explain/describe it?

I have tried hard to forget what has been absolutely the worst experience of my life, those six months when you had me inside.

The first guy who threatened to kill me was planted by the NYPD to partly scare me and partly to tell me, look who we have to deal with before you accuse us of racism which you might due to the bogus charges we are pressing against you. This was a black guy from the Bronx who had apparently shot a cop a few hours prior. Young guy. I shared a cell with him for a night and the following day when they arrested me on their second bogus charge of court order violation. I had not violated the court order. The next one was another black guy they planted next to my bed at the immigration facility on Varick Street. He threatened to snuff me out with a pillow.

The first time they arrested me was on the first bogus charge. Of course they don't read you your rights when you are a non citizen. Once they had me in the car, they started insinuating maybe they feared I might blow up a tunnel. They did that to see if they could get me scared. Then they had me share the backseat with another petty criminal black guy to take me to spend the night in the same facility where the American Gangster of the movie fame had been lodged.

These were people who were offended I had been rooting for a black guy. Maybe you don't belong with black people, that was the message. And the Madhesi community is littered with Charlie Rangel characters, people who will do the white power structure's bidding. I mean, here was a dude who thought he had single handedly nudged Hillary to run for president. Talk of misunderstandings. He thought Hillary came to him to seek career advice, and he suggested she run, and so she ran. I guess people live in their own little worlds. When Charlie Rangel got into his tax mess later in 2008, the Manhattan DA suddenly reincarnated himself as a tax authority and gave him a clean chit. Look, the mess they got me in was political, beginning, middle and end. The first phrase of the first charge against me started with the lie that I had sent the person "hundreds of emails." This person claimed to have felt "fear". I came out and she stalked me at three different events over a 12 month period. She sent me an invitation to one of her events six months after I was out. You don't invite to your event someone you "fear." That behavior proves the petty charge was bogus in the first place. That is why they dropped it as soon as they got me into the immigration mess. That was the whole idea.

The first week they had me inside was in a wing that had four murderers. A month after that on Rikers Island I shared a dorm with half a dozen murderers. They took me to Varick. From there to Alabama. On the long bus trip they had me sit next to a guy who had been transported to Varick for a few hours from a federal facility where he had been for seven years, and he banged on the glass threatening to kill some of the officers as he waited to be transported to the bus.

54. From whom you received the death threats?

Two guys I mentioned. The first was a guy who had shot a cop in the Bronx only a few hours before and who kept saying the sentence for one murder is the same as the sentence for two murders.

55. How do you know the origins of these threats?

These people were planted. Barack Obama frustrated the federal ambitions of a lot of people in this city. A black guy in the White House is 500 years of world history being shaken upside down. When a supersonic jet breaks the sound barrier, there is a popping sound.

56. Why did they threaten you?

These are people who might threaten anyone, maybe. But their being planted next to me was a decision taken by people in the system. Rangel was just a pawn. The movers and shakers like to stay faceless. Like I told you, the best way to do it is by not taking responsibility.
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