Wary of spike in hate crime, Indians in US urge caution

SansadTV Bureau

New York new year's eveIn the light of alleged racially-motivated fatal attack on 32-year-old Indian engineer in US city of Kansas, a Sikh civil rights group has urged members of the Sikh-American community to exercise caution and be extra vigilant in the wake of a possible hate crime.

The Sikh Coalition said its prayers go out to the family of Srinivas Kuchibhotla. Another Indian Alok Madasani, who was injured in the incident, has been released from the hospital yesterday.

The advocacy group urged “every Sikh-American to exercise extra vigilance and caution during this period of heightened vulnerability.” It urged members of the community to call law enforcement immediately if they have been a victim of hate violence or received threats of violence.

Following the shooting, Olathe residents went to the bar where the incident took place to lay flowers and offer condolences to the staff, patrons and victims’ families.

“You just can’t help but your heart goes out to them, and it’s such a sad story for the community but I just wanted to support and of course honor the lives and everybody involved,” nearby business owner Amber McCracken said in a report in KSHB Kansas City.

The shooting has shaken the tight-knit Indian community in Olathe, according to Shabina Kavimandan, who was among those laying flowers at the site.

“We take pride in the fact that we come and we become a part of this society and then when things like this happen you just stop in your tracks and you realize that yes you are a little different,” said Kavimandan.

“When we pull back the layer then we realized, oh, gun violence was actually somebody killing people because they are different, that adds another layer to it. That’s when it became really hard to really make sense of this.” She added.

(With inputs from the Agencies)