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Sunday 25 June 2017

Shock and outrage over shooting of two Indian men in Kansas City

Jaganmohan Reddy, father of Alok Madasani, speaks to the media at his home in India (AP/Mahesh Kumar A)
Jaganmohan Reddy, father of Alok Madasani, speaks to the media at his home in India (AP/Mahesh Kumar A)

The shooting of two Indian men in a crowded Kansas City bar has sparked outrage in their home country.

The Indian government has rushed diplomats to the US state to monitor the progress of the investigation.

Jaganmohan Reddy, father of Alok Madasani, an engineer who was injured in the shooting on Wednesday night, said he thought it was a hate crime.

He said such incidents have increased after the recent political changes in the United States.

The second man, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, also an engineer and a Hindu, was fatally shot. He came from Hyderabad, the capital of southern Telangana state, said Indian external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup.

Mourners poured into Mr Kuchibhotla's home in Hyderabad, with his shocked parents Madhusudhan Rao and Vardhini Rao unable to talk since they received the news of his death.

They have another son working in the United States and a third employed in India.

Mr Swarup said two Indian consulate officials from Houston and Dallas were sent to Kansas City to meet with Mr Madasani and facilitate the return of Mr Kuchibhotla's body to India.

The suspect, Adam Purinton, has been taken into custody and was charged on Thursday with murder and attempted murder.

Ian Grillot, a 24-year-old American who jumped to the defence of the Indians in the bar, was hailed as a hero by local media. He was also injured in the incident.

"Decency and humanity always triumph in the end, but not without struggle and sacrifice," said Jayaprakash Narayan, a Hyderabad-based activist who lauded Mr Grillot's bravery.

The US embassy in New Delhi strongly condemned the shooting in Olathe, Kansas.

"The United States is a nation of immigrants and welcomes people from across the world to visit, work, study, and live. US authorities will investigate thoroughly and prosecute the case, though we recognise that justice is small consolation to families in grief," charge d'affaires MaryKay Carlson said.

Mr Reddy said he learned about the shooting from his eldest son, who lives in Dallas. His younger son moved to the US in 2008 for his master's degree.

Mr Reddy, who has spoken with his injured son over the phone, said he is worried about his safety and wants him to come back to India.

"I request other parents to think twice before sending their children to the United States," he said.

AP

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