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Fourth violent attack against Indian American reported

Mar 06, 2017

‘Go back to your country’ shouted the alleged attacker in yet another hate crime against an Indian in the United States of America.

Washington: There have been multiple reports on increased number of hate-fuelled attacks against people of Indian origin from across the United States of America. Close on the heels of the shooting death of Olathe based Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla at a Kansas bar, yet another incident claimed life of another Indian.

On Friday night, a 39-year-old Sikh man working on his car in his driveway was approached by a masked gunman in Kent, Washington State. Following a brief altercation, the attacker allegedly yelled ‘Go back to your country’ before shooting the victim in his arm and fleeing the spot.

The victim’s injuries are considered not life threatening. The gunman has been described as a stocky, 6-foot-tall white man wearing a mask over the bottom part of his face. Kent police chief said the department is investigating whether this was a possible hate crime against the Sikh community.

Another incident surfaced on Thursday night wherein a case of shooting death was reported from Lancaster, South Carolina. Convenience store owner, Indian American Harnish Patel’s body was discovered outside his home. Patel who hailed from Vadodara in Gujarat is survived by his wife and a child in elementary school, who were at home when he was killed.

According to local TV reports there was palpable anger among the residents of Lancaster against the killing of Patel, who was a beloved member of the community. Police officials in Lancaster, however, would not label Patel's killing as a hate crime as the investigation into the killing is still on.

Family members of the victims in the Kansas shooting have expressed fears about the prevalent atmosphere in the US. The victim’s family directly attributed this to President Trump’s negative rhetoric against immigrants. The White House, however, has disputed that claim.

In his first State of the Union address President Trump condemned as ‘hate and evil’ the killing of Srinivas Kuchibhotla. Indian Americans who lived through the aftermath of the 911-terror attack have seen a spurt in racial persecution and verbal abuses against Indians since the 2016 election.

USINPAC Chairman, Sanjay Puri, has urged the Trump administration to strongly condemn the hate fuelled attacks on Indian Americans and to take firm steps for mitigating the negative atmosphere of fear and uncertainty prevailing among racial and ethnic minorities in the country. “We are urging concrete steps by the Department of Justice and to address the community,” Puri said.

The US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) claims to be the voice of over 3.2 million Indian- Americans and works on issues that concern the community. USINPAC supports candidates for local, state and federal office and encourages political participation by the Indian- American community.

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