External Affairs

US Assures ‘Speedy’ Justice For Indian-American Hate Crime Victims

Adam Purinton, 51, accused of killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, and wounding Alok Madasani, 32, as well as an American who tried to intervene, appears with his public defender Michelle R. Durrett (R) via video conference from jail during his initial court appearance in Olathe, Kansas, US, February 27, 2017. Credit: Jill Toyoshiba/Reuters

Adam Purinton, 51, accused of killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, and wounding Alok Madasani, 32, as well as an American who tried to intervene, appears with his public defender Michelle R. Durrett (R) via video conference from jail during his initial court appearance in Olathe, Kansas, US, February 27, 2017. Credit: Jill Toyoshiba/Reuters

The US on Monday assured India of “speedy justice” to the Indian-American victims of hate-related crimes. India’s ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna reached out to the state department to convey his “deep concerns” to the government on the recent tragic incidents involving Harnish Patel and Deep Rai.

“State Department, on behalf of the US government, expressed condolences and assured they are working with all agencies concerned to ensure speedy justice,” the Indian Embassy in the US said in a series of tweets.

Patel, 43, an owner of a convenience store in Lancaster County, South Carolina, was found dead of gunshot wounds in his home on Thursday. Rai, 39-year-old Sikh, had been shot outside his home by a partially-masked gunman who shouted “go back to your own country.”.

Sarna also “underlined” the need to prevent such incidents and protect the Indian community. Indian embassy officials are in constant communication with local police officials in both the cases, he said.

“We will remain in touch with them,” an Indian embassy source said.

Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed on February 22 by a navy veteran who opened fire at him and his friend Alok Madasani, yelling “get out of my country”.

FBI joins probe

The FBI has joined the investigation into the shooting of Rai, a US national of Indian origin. “The Seattle FBI is assisting the Kent Police Department through a joint investigation of the shooting incident. The FBI remains committed to investigating crimes that are potentially hate-motivated and we continue to work with all our community partners in the Seattle area,” FBI Seattle spokesperson Ayn Dietrich said.