Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s wife, Dumala Kuchibhotla narrates A Devastating Hate Crime in Kansas, which tells the tragic story of her husband’s death at the hands of a US Navy veteran.
The Atlantic has released a new short documentary based on the hate crime incident that resulted in the death of Indian American technology professional Srinivas Kuchibhotla and how, despite this tragedy, his wife Dumala continues to live the American Dream.
The documentary titled A Devastating Hate Crime in Kansas begins with the narration of Kuchibhotla’s wife Sunayana Dumala. She speaks about their arrival to the US and how they bought a new home in Kansas, which according to her was a dream come true for Srinivas and her.
She then goes on to explain how they met online through the now defunct social media network Orkut and also about how Kuchibhotla helped her in tackling the US visa process. She goes on to give glimpses about their courtship days and finally their marriage.
A video taken during the wedding ceremony is also shared which has the couple rejoicing their togetherness.
The mood of the film shifts as Dumala starts recollecting the final day of Kuchibhotla’s life. The viewers are shown a short scene took outside the Austin Bar & Grill, which was a typical happy hours destination for Kuchibhotla and his Indian friend Alok, who also suffered injuries in the hate instigated attack unleashed by a navy veteran.
She then goes on to explain the shock of getting to know about the tragedy and the inspirations and support that made her to stay back in the US despite nearly getting deported.
The film then enters the present life of Dumala who, along with both her and Kuchibhotla’s colleagues, started a nonprofit organization called “forever Welcome” to combat hate crimes in the United States.
The short film ends with Dumala saying that the way the community came forward showing love for her and her husband made her find the answer to the question “Do we belong here”.
A Devastating Hate Crime in Kansas is a single story in the film, “Do We Belong?”, directed by Sofian Khan. It is part of The Atlantic Selects, an online showcase of short documentaries from independent creators, curated by The Atlantic.
Adam Purinton, a United States Navy veteran, walked into Austin’s Bar in Olathe, Kansas and shot, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani. Kuchibhotla suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead by doctors.
Purinton approached the pair, asking, “‘Are you here illegally?’” recounts Sunayana Dumalato which he replied “‘I am here on a work visa.’ But Purinton thought Srinivas was from Iran and he was an illegally alien. He shouted ‘Get out of my country,’ before he shot Srinivas down.”