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Murder of an Indian techie in the US evokes strong responses

Murder of an Indian techie in the US evokes strong responses pardesi news 1488340927

In an outrageous turn of events, Srinivas Kuchibotla, an Indian engineer was gunned down after a white man opened fire in a packed bar in Kansas City.

Srinivas Kuchibotla Srinivas, 32, succumbed to his bullet wounds at the hospital. As per eyewitnesses, this attack was the outcome of racial fury as the gunman was heard screaming, “get out of my country” before he opened fire. The shooter has been identified as Adam Purinton, US Navy veteran. The gunman, Purinton was arrested hours after the incident at an Applebee's restaurant in Clinton, Missouri, about 80 miles (130 km) south of Olathe. He has been charged with murder and attempted murder. However, Alok Madasani, 32, and Ian Grillot, 24, the other two victims, survived despite sustaining severe injuries. The gunman seemingly mistook the three victims to be Middle Easterners at the time of firing.  

Kuchibhotla worked with the Garmin headquarters in Olathe. His coworker, Alok Madasani, was with him at the bar when they were attacked. Ian Grillot, a white man, was also hurt in the shooting as he tried to jump to their rescue.

Days after the death of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, strong reactions are pouring in from across the world, with several Indian American organisations demanding that speedy justice be delivered to the victims of the Kansas shooting. Members of the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national advocacy organisation in the US, said in a statement that though disturbed by incident, they are by no means surprised. According to Mr. Suman Raghunathan, executive director of SAALT, “This incident is the latest in a rising tide of hate violence against South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern and Arab communities, electrified by the President’s (Donald Trump) anti-immigrant policies”.  Joining them were individual members from Telugu families living in the US for decades. They claimed that the newer immigrants from India are a worried lot. “There is a sense of panic among them as these are young people and populate public spaces that attract all types of people. They are scared of being victimised by angry white people or even Americans of any stripe that believe immigrants or brown people steal their jobs or get welfare benefits,” said Dinesh Sastry, whose family has roots here. Other groups such as South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA), Indian Friends of Atlanta, Union of International Associations, United Sikhs, Telugu Association of Greater Kansas City, South Asians for America and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles were among the many that condemned the incident and demanded justice for Kuchibhotla’s family. However, White House says shooting of Srinivas Kuchibhotla looks racially-motivated, FBI probing incident as a hate crime. According to the White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, "As more facts come to light and it begins to look like this was an act of racially motivated hatred, we want to reiterate that the president condemns these or any other racially or religiously motivated attacks in the strongest terms".  The Federal Bureau of Investigation said that it was investigating the shooting as a hate crime. The FBI said in a statement, "Based upon the initial investigative activity, the FBI, in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, is investigating this incident as a hate crime…The FBI will continue to work jointly with Olathe Police Department and our state and local partners regarding this ongoing investigation. As this is an ongoing investigation, we are not able to comment further at this time". 

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Patrick Callahan

Pardesi News Reporter

Pardesi News Reporter

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