The White House has termed the alleged racially motivated killing of an Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla as “disturbing” and said there is no space for violence based on religion and ethnicity. It also condemned the alleged hate crimes against the Jewish community in the US.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his daily news conference that “early reports coming from Kansas are equally disturbing”.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and Alok Madasani, of the same age, was injured in the shooting by 51-year-old US navy veteran Adam Purinton who screamed racial slurs and told them “get out of my country”.
A 24-year-old American named Ian Grillot, who tried to intervene also received injuries in the firing in Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas last week.
The White House press secretary also condemned the alleged hate crimes against Jewish community and asserted that there is no space for violence based on religion and ethnicity. Recently, vandals had broke and overturned more than 500 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia.
“From our country’s founding, we’ve been dedicated to protecting the freedom of our citizens’ rights to worship. No one in America should feel afraid to follow the religion of their choosing freely and openly. The President has dedicated to preserving this originating principle of our nation,” Spicer said.
“And while we’re at it, I don’t want to get ahead of law enforcement, but I was asked the other day about the story in Kansas, the shooting in Kansas. While the story is evolving, early reports out of Kansas are equally disturbing,” the White House Press Secretary said.
The incident has drawn very strong reactions from the Indian community in the United States. Mr. Kuchibhotla’s widow Sunayana Dumala had demanded an answer from the US government what it would do to stop hate crimes against the minorities.
“Do we belong here?” she had asked in a press conference last week, adding “He did not deserve a death like this.”
“I don’t know what to say. We’ve read many times in newspapers of some kind of shooting happening somewhere. I was always concerned, ‘Are we doing the right thing staying in the US or America?’ But he always assured me good things happen in America,” she said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined local law enforcement agencies in investigating the incident that has shocked the entire Indian-American community and several hundreds of Indians either working or studying in the United States.
(With inputs from the PTI)