External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday expressed shock over the death of Indian techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was shot dead in Kansas, United States, in what appears to be a racially motivated hate crime. Expressing deep shock over the incident, Sushma offered condolences to his family, saying all assistance will be provided to them.
“I am shocked at the shooting incident in Kansas in which Srinivas Kuchibhotla has been killed. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved family,” she wrote on Twitter. She said that all the arrangements will be made to bring his mortal remains to his native city Hyderabad. “We will make all arrangements to transport the mortal remains of Srinivas Kuchibhotla to Hyderbad.”
Here are the live updates:
#Sushma Swaraj, local BJP team & Telangana govt supporting; We want the body to be here at the earliest: Kansas shooting victim's relative
#A racist person said 'get out of my country' and targeted my brother and his friend: Kansas shooting victim Srinivas Kuchibhotla's relative
#This is 1st time it happened to family; Trump is only the primary reason as of now: Kansas shooting victim Srinivas Kuchibhotla's relative
RD Joshi Consulate General of India, Houston meets Kansas victim; He is safe,assured all support-Anupam Ray,Consul General of India, Houston pic.twitter.com/jNy3TqtPor— ANI (@ANI_news) February 24, 2017
#Consul RD Joshi & Vice Consul Harpal Singh who are rushing to Kansas, will also facilitate in bringing the mortal remains of the deceased: MEA
#Shocked at shooting incident in Kansas in which Srinivas Kuchibhotla has been killed. My condolences to bereaved family: EAM Sushma Swaraj
I am shocked at the shooting incident in Kansas in which Srinivas Kuchibhotla has been killed. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved family.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) February 24, 2017
We will make all arrangements to transport the mortal remains of Srinivas Kuchibhotla to Hyderbad.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) February 24, 2017
#RD Joshi Consulate General of India, Houston and VC H. Singh rushing to Kansas to assist shooting victim
She also said that she has discussed the matter with Indian Ambassador in US Mr Navtej Sarna, who told her that two Indian officials have been sent to Kansas.
“I have spoken to Indian Ambassador in US Mr Navtej Sarna. He informed me that two Indian Embassy officials have rushed to Kansas,” she tweeted.
“Indian Ambassador has also informed me that Alok Madasani who was injured in the incident has been discharged from the hospital. We will provide all help and assistance to the bereaved family.”
“I have spoken to the father and Mr K K Shastri brother of Srinivas Kuchibhotla in Hyderabad and conveyed my condolences to the family. I have assured all help and assistance to the family.”
An American navy veteran yelled ‘terrorist’ and ‘get out of my country’ and opened fire on Kuchibhotla, leaving him dead and two others injured in a crowded bar in Kansas City.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla (32), working at GPS-maker Garmin headquarters in Olathe, died of bullet injuries in hospital while his Indian colleague Alok Madasani was critically injured when the 51-year-old shooter started yelling hurling racial slurs following an altercation on Wednesday night.
A third person, an American man identified as Ian Grillot, 24, who tried to intervene also received injuries in the firing in Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe.
The shooter, Adam Purinton, reportedly got into an argument with the victims in the terms of racism, and shouted “get out of my country”, “terrorist” before shooting them.
Purinton reportedly provoked them into an argument asking their presence and work in his country, and how they are better than him.
According to police, Purinton left the bar after the argument and then returned with a gun and shot the three men while patrons were watching the University of Kansas-TCU basketball game on television in the bar.
The shooter was arrested on Thursday morning, five hours after the incident and charged with murder and attempted murder.
Authorities declined at a news conference to say whether the shooting was a hate crime although local police said they were working with the FBI to investigate the case.
“It was a tragic and senseless act of violence,” Olathe Police Chief Steven Menke told reporters.
The FBI has joined local police authorities in the investigation. “The FBI is investigating to determine if the shooting of Kuchibhotla, was a bias-motivated hate crime in violation of the victims’ civil rights,” Eric Jackson, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Kansas City office told reporters at a news conference.
Asked if the presence of federal authorities indicated the shooting could be considered a hate crime, Jackson said it was too early to determine.
The shooting incident comes at a time when hate crimes and acts of bigotry have risen notably in America after President Donald Trump came to power.
In New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj expressed shock over the incident and said two Indian consulate officials from Houston have been rushed to Kansas to render all possible assistance.
“I am shocked at the shooting incident in Kansas in which Srinivas Kuchibhotla has been killed. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved family,” she tweeted.
“I have spoken to Indian Ambassador in US Mr Navtej Sarna. He informed me that two Indian Embassy officials have rushed to Kansas,” she said.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Kuchibhotla and Madasani hailed from Hyderabad and Warangal, and were working at Garmin in Olathe (Kansas).
(With inputs from PTI)