An Indian techie was killed in Kansas City of US and his friend injured, in what is being seen as a hate crime. The assailant, a US Navy veteran Adam Purinton opened fire at his victims in a bar in Olathe.
The fact that it is being seen as a racial attack is because eyewitnesses heard him scream ‘Get out of my country’ while he attacked Srinivas Kuchibhotla and his friend Alok Madasani. Srinivas succumbed to his injuries while Alok is now out of danger and relieved from the hospital. The third person to be injured was the brave Ian Grillot a resident of Olathe who ran to the rescue of these two immigrant Indians and was shot at too. He is hurt yet proud of standing up for the right cause. “I was just doing what anyone should have done. It’s not about where he’s from, or ethnicity. We’re all humans,” said this 24-year old Ian Grillot from his hospital bed.
Kuchibhotla and Madasani were employees at Garmin. In a statement, Garmin said, “We’re saddened that two Garmin associates were involved in last night’s (Wednesday night) incident, and we express our condolences to the family and friends of our co-workers involved. Garmin will have grievance counsellors on-site and available for its associates today and tomorrow.”
There has been wide condemnation of the attack. The Ministry of External Affairs promptly reacted to the situation after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to Indian envoy in US, Navtej Sarna. A team of two are in Kansas looking into the matter. Consul R.D. Joshi met with Alok as also other members of the Indian community to extend all help and support. The mortal remains of Srinivas Kuchibhotla would be brought to India and the Indian officials would be meeting his wife on Saturday morning.
The US embassy in India also came out with a strong statement against the attack. Chargé d’Affaires MaryKay Carlson in that statement said, “We are deeply saddened by this tragic and senseless act. Our deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families. The United States is a nation of immigrants and welcomes people from across the world to visit, work, study, and live. U.S. authorities will investigate thoroughly and prosecute the case, though we recognize that justice is small consolation to families in grief.”
While US diplomats are trying to repose faith in the idea of America being the beacon of the free world, the FBI has jumped into the investigations to find out whether if it is a case of hate crime or not.
51-year old Adam Purinton has been arrested and charged with murder. Meanwhile, the Indian Consul General in Houston Dr. Anupam Ray spoke to NewsX and said that the mission is doing everything to make the Indian community members feel safe and secure. On the question about hate crime he said, “What the FBI said is that they are going to look into whether if it is a civil rights violation or not because hate crimes come under civil rights that’s when a Federal Agency comes in in the United States. My colleague Joshi met the local special agent who is in Olathe right now. So he met the local Special Agent and the local Police Chief and they both told him that they are investigating all aspects of the crime.”
The mission officials would also be meeting Ian Grillot to thank him for his act of bravery in coming forward to help and save the Indian nationals.
Exclusive Conversation with Indian Consul General In Houston Dr. Anupam Ray:
Q. What is the update on the case?
A. I am in touch with the wife of Srinivas Kuchibhotla and with the injured Alok Madasani. Have spoken to both. Our consul RD Joshi went and met the wife, Mr. Alok and community members. We have extended all kind of support and help to the families of the victims and reached out to the Indian community members.
Q. Have you spoken to the local authorities and what is the kind of cooperation you are receiving?
A. They have met us and told us that they are investigating the matter and that they would keep us briefed.
Q. Is the Indian mission in DC in touch with the US authorities and are you in touch with the local authorities regarding the safety and security of people from the Indian community in US?
A. I spoke to the members of the community and the families feel that they are safe there. The ones Consul Joshi met did not convey that they felt insecure.
Q. On the charges levelled against the assailant… how far have they gone and is the FBI only looking into the fact of whether it is a hate crime or not?
A. What the FBI said is that they are going to look into whether if it is a civil rights violation or not because hate crimes come under civil rights that’s when a Federal Agency comes in in the United States. My colleague Joshi met the local special agent who is in Olathe right now. So he met the local Special Agent and the local Police Chief and they both told him that they are investigating all aspects of the crime.
Q. When are the mortal remains of Mr. Srinivas being brought back to India and will the wife be accompanied by officials from the mission?
A. The family did not want the media to be told about it.
Q. Are you also in touch with Mr. Ian Grillot, the man who tried to save the two Indians?
A. We are trying to meet him.