Sunayana Dumala, the wife of engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla killed in a shooting in the US, has paid glowing tributes to her husband in a poignant Facebook post but has also raised hard questions about the security of Indian immigrants.
Kuchibhotla, 32, was shot dead at a Kansas bar last week in an apparent hate attack. One of his colleagues at work Alok Madasani, also an Indian, and an American citizen, who tried to stop the shooter, were injured in the incident.
“Many times, these issues are talked about for a few weeks and people tend to forget about them afterward, but the fight must go on towards eradicating hatred from the minds of people. So what is the (US) government going to do to stop hate crime?” Sunayana wrote on Tuesday, barely a few hours after Kuchibhotla was cremated in his home town.
“Lastly, to answer the question that is in every immigrant’s mind, Do we belong here? Is this the same country we dreamed of and is it still secure to raise our families and children here?”
Her posers came a few hours before US President Donald Trump broke his silence on the Kansas shooting to condemn “hate and evil in all its forms”.
Sunayana had asked a similar question during a press briefing in the US before returning home for the funeral.
“I will now ask (the) same question — on what basis we decide a person is good or bad, and of course, it’s not based on the colour of your skin. So what decides that?” she said in her post, apparently referring to the alleged shooter Adam Purinton’s claim later that he had shot dead two people from Iran.
A US Navy veteran, Purinton, 51, has been charged with manslaughter.
“…All of this, because of one person, who did not think of the impact his deed would have on the victim’s family,” she said before describing her reaction when police visited their home to inform her about the shooting.
“I asked them (police) repeatedly, “Are you sure?”, “Are you telling the truth?”, “Did you see the man you are talking about?”, “Can you show me a picture to identify?”, “Is the man that you are talking about 6’ 2’’?” They were just nodding their heads saying yes.”
She described her first “meeting” with Kuchibhotla at a now-defunct social networking, Orkut, their brewing romance that culminated in their marriage “after 6 years of close friendship”.
Sunayana also revealed that her husband was a big fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi whom he had described as “the leader that could make India shine”.
She also named many people for their support and said she was moved by the love from strangers in the US.
“I was able to see random acts of kindness at the Kansas City airport when people recognised me and hugged me. I met a dermatologist who said I changed the purpose of her life,” she wrote she wrote in the post that has been shared thousands of times since Tuesday night.
“May be, that was the first win during this fight to spread love.”