Mom watched son robbed at gunpoint

An Indian man working in the nightshift at a Shell petrol pump in the United States was robbed at gunpoint even as he was on a video call with his mother back in Telangana.

The masked assailant who placed the gun at the man’s head at Clinton, Mississippi, also shouted “get out of my country”, as his mother sat helplessly staring at a blank screen as the video connection snapped.

Vijaya Bhaskar Rao, father of Sai Varun, said the incident happened at 8 pm on Saturday. Varun was on a video call from Clinton with his mother Jayalakshmi. The family resides at Srirampur district in Mancherial village of Telangana.

When the call was on, a masked man entered the Indian-owned supermarket and pointed his gun at Varun, who was managing the cash counter. The call blanked out at the precise time.

Jayalakshmi alerted her older son Sai Kiran who also lives in Clinton, where he is working after completing his MS in the United States. But the armed robber emptied the cash box and asked Varun to leave the country, holding him at gunpoint.

“When the robber asked about his home, my son said he is from India,” Bhaskar, a mechanical engineer in an open cast coalmine in Mancherial, said. CCTV footage released by the Clinton police showed Varun kneeling down with the masked man pointing the gun at his head. The assailant, however, did not hurt the student as he fled the scene.

“We are told that Indian students have been targeted after Donald Trump took over (as US President),” Bhaskar said. “Now, we were made to witness the horror from a distance,” he added.

The family has asked their sons to stay put and “realise their American dream”, even as they urged the Indian government to ensure Indian students are not subjected to racial attacks.

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