US Killer Asked Visa Status of Indians Before Shooting
Naidu Wants ‘Strongest Action’ from US
New Delhi: US Navy veteran Adam W Purinton, who shot dead IndianAmericanSrinivasKuchibhotlaand injured Alok Madasani at a Kansas bar last week, had asked their visa status before shooting them besides enquiring if the duo were staying in the USA as illegal migrants, reflecting the mindset of a section of American population whose ‘concerns’ have been outlined by the current administration in Washington.
Purinton, during the fateful night at the bar in Oalthe, Kansas, had initially asked Madasani and his colleague Kuchibhotla their visa status, say persons familiar with the episode. The ex-navy personnel also asked the duo if they were staying in America as “illegal migrants”, a close associate of Madasani, who has now been released from the hospital, told ET from USA.
Purinton had suspected the duo to be “middle-easterners”. The Indian duo did not respond to Purinton’s provocation. Instead, Madasani, an engineer who works for Garmin International, reported the initial incident to a bar manager, resulting in the Purinton being thrown out of the bar. But the Navy veteran later came back to the bar to shoot the duo. The shooting happened within weeks of president Donald Trump’s declaration of strict action against illegal migrants and proposed stricter rules for legal migrants including Indian professionals under H-1B visa category. Indian establishment, however, is of opinion that changes in H-1B visa category will require Congressional action and this is a time-consuming matter.
Foreign secretary S Jaishankar, who is visiting USA this week, his third trip to America since November 8 election results, will voice concerns over security of Indian Americans as well as drive home the point of Indian professionals’ contribution to the local economy. The issue of contribution of Indian nationals in America was raised by the PM who met US
Congressmen in Delhi last week.
The situation is also tense after a January 27 US presidential executive order barred people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering America for 90 days, banned refugees for 120 days and put an indefinite pause on Syrian refugee admissions. There will be a revised order but that will retain fundamental elements and will be released “very soon”, according to Stephen Miller, a senior White House adviser. While the White House is yet to categorise the Kansas shooting as a hate crime, US authorities have acted swiftly to take punitive action against Purinton. He has been charged with one count of premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted pre-meditated first-degree murder.
Union minister Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday condemned the killing of an Indian engineer in Kansas, saying the US government should respond to such incidents and take the “strongest action”. “USA should respond to this incident. American president should come out to condemn such actions.”
File photo of Srinivas Kuchibhotla with wife Sunayana Dumala.