Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi today described the shooting at a Kansas pub in which an Indian was killed as an attack on US' fundamental values and an assault on the sense of security of all persons of colour in the country.
"This was an attack not only on the victims, but on the sense of security of Indians, Indian-Americans, and millionsof other people of colour across the nation," Krishnamoorthi said in a statement in response to reports that the shooting in Olathe, Kansas, was specifically motivated by the race of two of the victims.
A 32-year-old Indian engineer was killed and another Indian man and an American were injured in the apparent racially motivated hate crime.Srinivas Kuchibhotla, working at GPS-maker Garmin headquarters in Olathe, died of bullet injuries in a hospital.
His Indian colleague Alok Madasani was critically injured.Witnesses of the shooting state that prior to opening fire, the attacker uttered racial slurs and yelled "get out of my country" at the two Indian victims.
"Along with so many throughout the world, I have always believed in the American Dream of our country as a place where regardless of where you come from, the colour of your skin, or how you pray, you can build a better life. This shooting was a brutal, racial attack on two men, and on the fundamental values of our nation.
It follows a spate of hate-motivated attacks on others in this country," Krishnamoorthi said.The first-time Democratic lawmaker from Illinois said the details of this attack have not yet been confirmed by police, but by all accounts, this appears to be an act of hatred.
"Yesterday, a man opened fire in a crowded bar, shouting racial slurs and yelling for the two Indian victims to 'get out of my country'. Today, because of one man's hate, another man lies dead and two others gravely wounded," he said.
The two Indian victims came to the United States to pursue their educations, to live, and to work, Krishnamoorthi said.
"The same reports that have identified this shooting as an act of hate have also stated that the third victim, Ian Grillot, was wounded when he saw what was happening and heroically sought to intervene," Krishnamoorthi said.
He urged his colleagues in the Congress, those in the executive branch, and all Americans, to actively work together not only to prevent future attacks, but to directly address the underlying culture and climate which have led to them.
Eminent Indian-American from the Republican party in Virginia Puneet Ahluwalia said it was a tragic, upsetting and unacceptable incident.
"This kind of demented rage and their perpetrators have to be stopped and prosecuted," he said.
"This is a threat to the greatness and hope which America is to so many. Importantly, not on our watch, we are a party of big tent and strong believer in our constitution," Ahluwalia said in a statement.