Indian American Niraj Antani attends vigil remembering Srinivas Kuchibhotla

Federation of Indian Associations of Ohio hosted the event at the Ohio Statehouse

Indian American State Representative Niraj Antani participated in a vigil on Sunday to remember Srinivas Kuchibhotla. A US Navy veteran killed Kuchibhotlas in an apparent hate crime in Kansas on February 22.

“We must stand together as an Indian American community after this tragedy,”Antani said at the vigil. “We remember the victim’s family and all of our fellow community members in Kansas during this difficult time.”

The 26-year-old Republican is the Representative of the 42nd district of the Ohio House of Representatives.

Adam Purinton, a white American, shot dead Srinivas Kuchibhotla in a bar in Olathe, Kansas. Purinton, 51, injured two others before fleeing the crime spot for a hideout. Purinton is facing charges of premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder.

The incident created much ripples in the US and India. India’s External Affairs Minister condemned the killing of the Indian engineer. She extended government help to bring Kuchibhotla’s body to his hometow, Hyderabad, India. President Trump also briefly mentioned the incident as hate crime during his first speech to the US Congress after winning the US presidential elections last year.

Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar took up the issue with senior members of the Trump administration during his four day visit to the US. Later, Jaishankar said on Friday that the Kansas shooting is an “individual act”. He apprised news media of the US government’s commitment to ensure justice to the aggrieved family members.

“What we have seen in the lst few days, whether it is White House statement, or President’s reference to it in his address to the Congress or what the [House] Speaker said after he met us . . . almost everybody we met, even people perhaps whose responsibility did not directly deal with this, we heard expressions of deep sorrow, deep regret and a sense of that we should really treat this as an individual act. And the American system and the American society was very much against it,” Jaishankar said in a statement.


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