Concern in city about loved ones in the US after Kansas attack

City residents expressed concern about the safety of their loved ones in the US after news about the killing of a Hyderabad aviation engineer Srinivas Kuchibotla (32) in Kansas spread on Friday. This is the first hate crime involving an Indian after Donald Trump took charge.

Another Hyderabadi, Alok Madasani (32), who was also injured in the attack by the US Navy veteran Adam Puriton (51), is undergoing treatment in a hospital there. A US citizen Ian Grillot (24) was also injured. Social media and Twitter trended with condolences, praise for the heroic efforts of the US citizen who was injured when he intervened and sharp criticism of Trump. There were also hate message posts in the name of religion that went viral on social media platforms. The shooter said he shot the two Indians thinking they were Middle Easterners.

“My friend said ever since Trump took oath, there have been protests against Indians with placards reading ‘Go Back Indians’ which has spread insecurity among Indians in several cities in the US.“The Indian embassy there has also issued guidelines to harried Indians not to panic and explained how to deal with any situation,” said Minhaj Ahmed, whose friend has settled with her husband and her 5-year-old child in the US.

Her parents too are worried as she is expecting her second child. Sathish, a Bengalurean, whose brother Pragadish lives in Los Angeles, was relieved when Pragadish called him to say Los Angeles was safe and protests were happening elsewhere in the US.

Krishna, a frequent traveller to the US from Bengaluru said: “There is definitely skepticism about what might happen next, but it’s nothing specific to Indians. It’s to do with all immigrants in general. Native US citizens are up in arms against Indians and Chinese whom they see as the ones stealing their jobs.”

“The incident is highly condemnable and Indians should be united in raising their voices against the brutality. It has raised concern over safety of Indians,” Dr Mithun, who is on a Neurosurgical Oncology Fellowship at Ohio, said.

Some, however, gave a benefit of doubt and said that more than the isolated and unfortunate incidents like these, they are worried about Trump’s immigration policies.
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