On 22nd February, 2 Indian-Americans were shot at in a bar in Kansas
Srinivas Kuchibhotla and his friend, Alok Madasani, were at the Texas Bar and Grill when they were shot by 51-year-old Adam Purinto after an argument, according to eye witnesses.
This incident was thought to be racially motivated
Allegedly, Purinto yelled racial abuses, like “Get out of my country”, and left the bar. However, he soon come back with a gun and shot the 2 Indians, as well as a man called Ian Grillot, who courageously tried to help. While Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot were severely injured, Srinivas did not survive the incident.
10 days later, Harnish Patel, an Indian origin owner of a local convenience store was shot dead in Kansas City
Patel was a well respected member of the society and people of the town are outraged over his murder. The local authorities stated that they had no reason to believe that this crime was racially motivated, and they are currently looking for the killer.
Just the next day, on 3rd March, Deep Rai, an Indian origin Sikh, was shot and wounded right outside his house in Kent by a masked gun man.
The men were heard shouting “Go back to your country”. Kent police have launched an investigation into the case and have also reached out to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. Rai is now recovering safely in the hospital.
These 3 incidents occurring in a span of just 10 days have raised concerns about the safety of the Indian community in the U.S. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has taken up these incidents with the American Government
In her statement to the Parliament she said, “I want to reassure that safety of our diaspora is our foremost priority. We are constantly talking to the US officials. Embassies are constantly in touch with the diaspora. The White House responded by promising protection for the Indian community
While many are using these incidents to indicate a rise in hate crimes against Indian-Americans, there is no data to back their claims
Since the FBI (the responsible authority for this data) only has information till 2015, it is premature to state that there is a trend of attacks on Indian-Americans in the USA being on the rise.
However, 2 definite hate crimes, and 1 suspected, occurring within a span of 10 days is definitely a cause for concern.
It cannot be disputed that there is widespread belief in America that Trump stands against immigration and “outsiders”. This narrative can definitely cause the racist factions of the American society to be braver.