The External Affairs Ministry on Saturday said the county sheriff in Lancaster in the US has suggested that the killing of a 43-year-old Indian-origin store owner there may not be a hate crime.
Condoling the death of Harnish Patel, an official in the ministry said the local authorities were investigating the case and the government will remain in touch with them.
The Indian Consulate General in Atlanta is in touch with the victim's family, he said. It is deputing a consular official to meet the family and offer condolences and any required assistance, the official said.
It is also in touch with the local community organisation of expat Indians, including those from Gujarat, he added. Patel, the owner of a convenience store in Lancaster County, South Carolina, was found dead with gunshot wounds in the front yard of his home on Thursday, the local coroner and police officials had said.
The incident comes just days after an Indian engineer was killed in Kansas in a hate crime shooting that had sent shockwaves across the country.