Washington, March 6: In the wake of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in the US, several Indian-origin people, especially Sikhs, in the nation became victims of hate crime as a part of anti-Muslim propaganda created during those difficult times. In fact, the first victim of a revenge killing after 9/11 attacks was not a Muslim but a Sikh--Balbir Singh Sodhi, who was shot dead at a gas station in Arizona. Since then, America registered several crimes perpetrated against Indian-origin people in the last several years.
The fear of hate crime is back to haunt the Indian immigrants, who've left their native country in the hope of a better life in America. The recent few days have been difficult for many Indians residing in the US. Fear has gripped many of them after the killing of Indian-origin techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32. Srinivas, a native of Hyderabad, was shot dead by 51-year-old US navy veteran Adam Purinton at a bar in Kansas. Before killing Srinivas and injuring two others--Alok Madasani (32) and Ian Grillot (24)--in the incident, the accused asked Srinivas and Alok (Srinivas' friend) to leave the country.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the recent shooting episode in Kansas as a 'hate crime'. Days after Srinivas' murder, Indian-origin businessman Harnish Patel has been shot dead outside his home in South Carolina. Thereafter, came the news of shooting of a Sikh man--Deep Rai (39) -- by an unknown gunman in Kent on Friday. The gunman allegedly told Rai 'Go back to your country' before attacking him. Police are investigating the shooting in Kent as a possible hate crime.
A special prayer was hosted in a Gurdwara in Washington DC after the Kent shooting horror. Speaking to ANI, Mandeep Singh, a resident of Washington, who belongs to the Sikh community, said, "It's the same situation the community was in after Sikhs were targeted post 9/11. There is a deep concern among all of us."
Even Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Sarna, conveyed his concerns to the US administration on recent tragic incidents involving Patel and Rai. After the killing of Srinivas, many--including the techie's family in India-- accused US President Donald Trump of propagating hate against immigrants and Muslims that resulted in his death.
The Trump administration took several days to openly condemn Srinivas' killing.
Till strong measures are not adopted by Trump administration to end racial attacks on immigrants, people of India-origin in the country will remain in a state of jittery and anxiousness.