Days after the killing of Indian techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla at a bar in the US, the White House on Monday said that the early reports coming from Kansas were “disturbing”.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer made a passing reference to what many are calling a hate crime, while he was condemning attacks on Jewish community centres across the US.
“And while we’re at it, I don’t want to get ahead of the law enforcement, but I was asked the other day about the story in Kansas — the shooting in Kansas. And while the story is evolving, early reports out of Kansas are equally disturbing,” Spicer said.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had on Sunday asked the US to condemn the killing of Kuchibhotla and take the `strongest’ action to prevent such attacks. Terming the Kansas shooting as shameful, Naidu had said this was a blot on the US which claims to be the oldest democracy.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed and Alok Madasani was injured when Adam Purinton, a former US Navy veteran, shot them a bar in Olathe, Kansas, last Wednesday night.
Purinton reportedly got into an argument with the victims and hurled racial slurs. He yelled “get out of my country” and “terrorist” before shooting them.
Spicer, during his briefing, also condemned the alleged hate crimes against the Jewish community and asserted that there is no space for violence based on religion and ethnicity.
“From our country’s founding, we’ve been dedicated to protecting the freedom of our citizens’ rights to worship. No one in America should feel afraid to follow the religion of their choosing freely and openly. The President has dedicated to preserving this originating principle of our nation,” Spicer said.
Last rite performed in Hyderabad
However, the last rites of Srinivas Kuchibhotla were performed on Tuesday at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad after his mortal remains brought from the US to India on late Monday night.
It was brought by a cargo flight, which arrived at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at around 10 pm.
Dozens of people gathered in Hyderabad today for the Kuchibhotla.
Friends stood around Kuchibhotla’s body which was garlanded with flowers ahead of his last rites, while some relatives wiped away tears, television footage showed.
Married four years ago, Kuchibhotla worked as an aviation engineer in the United States, one of the many Indians who go abroad each year in search of a better education or career prospects.
Kuchibhotla and his wife spent the initial years of their marriage living their American Dream, working, partying and travelling across the United States.
Telugu be Alert in America
The Telangana American Telugu Association (TATA) has advised the community to avoid communicating in Telugu in public places in the US.
“Much as we love talking in our mother tongue, it can often be misconstrued. Please see if you can communicate in English in public places,” the association said in a statement put out in its Facebook page.
The organisation further advised people not to get into argument with others in public places and leave the place immediately without confrontation.