US Killer Asked Visa Sta­tus of In­di­ans Be­fore Shoot­ing

Naidu Wants ‘Strong­est Ac­tion’ from US

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

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.

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