The father of an Indian man who was shot and injured in a Kansas City bar believes the United States isn’t a safe place after the election of President Donald Trump, and has said parents should not send their children to the country.
Madasani Alok Reddy, 32, was recovering from his wounds after being shot by a former US Navy veteran, an attack eyewitnesses said could be racially motivated. Alok’s 32-year-old friend, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, was killed in the Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe.
Madasani Jaganmohan Reddy, who lives in Chaitanyapuri in Hyderabad, said he had urged his son, Alok, to quit his job and return home.
“The situation seems to be pretty bad after Trump took over as the US President. I appeal to all the parents in India not to send their children to the US in the present circumstances,” he said.
The attack came at a time when apprehensions over religious and ethnic divide have gripped the US after the election victory of Trump, whose campaign rhetoric has targeted minorities.
Reddy said Alok and Srinivas were in the suburban bar to watch a basketball match on a giant TV screen on Wednesday night when they were attacked.
“The accused was already there when my son and (Srinivas) Kuchibhotla entered the restaurant,” Reddy said about Adam Purinton, who has been charged with murder and reportedly shouted “get out of my country” after the shooting.
“He picked up an argument with them and asked them why they were staying in the US illegally. They tried to tell him that they had done their MS (master’s degree) in Kansas in 2006 and had been staying there with valid work permits.”
“When the American continued to shout at them, they complained to the restaurant manager, who sent him out. But he returned soon and started firing at them, resulting in the killing of Kuchibhotla.”
For Kuchibhotla’s 70-year-old father, K Madhusudhana Sastry, a retired scientist from Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited, the shooting has come as a big blow.
“Ever since we received the news last evening about the death of his son in the shootout in the US, he has been in a state of shock and is not speaking to anyone,” said Rentachintala Sastry, a cousin of Kuchibhotla.
Grief struck their residence at Plot No. 1, Phase 30, Pranay Bounty layout at Bachupalli on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Kuchibhotla’s mother, Parvata Vardhini, was crying inconsolably and no family member was in a position to speak to the media.
“Srinivas is the second of three sons of Madhusudhan uncle. The other sons are working here. It is a happy family and nobody has ever expected that such a tragedy would strike them,” Sastry said.
Srinivas was married without children.
Sastry said many of their relatives were in the US, and all of them were worried now. “We have to be very careful in talking to the Americans. That’s all we can say,” he said.
Reddy said it appeared that the Americans were given the impression that a large number of Indians were staying in the US with illegal work permits.
Sagar, a spokesperson of the Telugu Association in Texas, told Hindustan Times that the incident triggered panic among Indians, particularly Telugus, in the US.
“We have to be extremely careful while dealing with the US and should not enter into any argument,” he said.