Can Trump protect us, asks wife of slain Indian techie

Report by: 
Agencies
Houston
25 Feb 2017

The grieving wife of the Indian engineer shot dead in an apparent hate crime by a navy veteran in Kansas City has demanded an answer from the US government what it would do to stop hate crimes against the minorities.

Sunayana Dumala, wife of 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla who was killed by Adam Purinton at a city bar on Wednesday night, said reports of bias against minorities in the US make them afraid and wondered whether "do we belong here". At a news conference organised by GPS-maker Garmin, the company where Srinivas worked, Sunayana asked what the US government of Donald Trump would do to stop hate crimes against minorities such as the one happened to her husband.
Although she did not mention Trump by name, Sunayana did say, "Not everyone will be harmful to this country." Sunayana was concerned over shooting incidents and doubted whether her family should stay in the US. But, she said, her husband assured her saying "good things happen in America."

The tragedy has led to fears among immigrants, who feel being targeted by President Trump's plans to ban travelers from some countries and build a wall along the Mexico border to realise his campaign pledge of puttting "America first." Trump's proposed travel ban against certain countries has been termed divisive by many and provoked criticism from several quarters, including his own Republican Party. Sunayana said Srinivas came to the US in 2005 to pursue a master's degree at the University of Texas at El Paso and worked for six years in Iowa before moving to Kansas City.

"He did not deserve a death like this," Sunayana said. "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." Consul-General of India in Houston, Anupam Ray, is monitoring the situation and providing possible help for the grieving family and the community in Olathe area of Kansas. "Immediately when the incident occurred, Consulate rushed Deputy Consul R D Joshi and Vice Consul H Singh to Kansas to be with the family of Srinivas at this trying moment," Ray told PTI. Since the tragedy, they have been with the Srinivas family and have assured Sunayana of all possible help, Ray added.

Joshi met shocked community members in Olathe and enquired Alok Madasani, another Indian injured in the shooting, about his health. Alok has now been discharged from hospital. The shooting evoked outrage India with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj expressing shock over the incident. "I am shocked at the shooting incident in Kansas in which Srinivas Kuchibhotla has been killed. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved family," Swaraj said in a tweet on Friday. The shooter, Adam Purinton, reportedly got into a racial argument with the victims and shouted "get out of my country" and "terrorist" before shooting them. He reportedly provoked them into an argument asking about their presence and work in the US, and how they are better than him. .

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today expressed shock over the killing of the Indian engineer in Kansas City and said she did not support the 'politics of hate'. "Saddened and shocked at the incident of Indian engineer in Kansas USA, who was an unfortunate victim. We don't support the politics of hate", Mamata said in a statement. "The world is one big family. People from different countries live in different nations. We must all understand this", she said. Deploring the killing of Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla in the US, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury today called for pressurising the Donald Trump administration for quick action. "We urge our government to put the strongest pressure on the authorities in the US to act upon this at the earliest, to ensure this is never repeated," said Yechury.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's India-born chief Satya Nadella today asserted that there is no place for "senseless violence" and bigotry in the society as he condemned the killing of an Indian techie in a shooting incident in the US. "There's no place for senseless violence & bigotry in our society. My heart is with the victims & families of the horrific shooting in Kansas," Nadella tweeted. Nadella had earlier addressed President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, saying there is no place for bias or bigotry in any society. The Microsoft CEO's comments come against the backdrop of a divisive and anti-immigrant rhetoric engulfing the US under the presidency of Trump.