A 29-year-old Indian-American man was found dead in the US state of New Jersey, an incident which the family has described as a “personal issue”.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Sunday that the Indian Consulate here “has spoken to the father of the deceased in Massachusetts. He says this is a personal family tragedy”.
Our Consulate in New York has spoken to the father of the deceased in Massachusetts. He says this is a personal family tragedy. https://t.co/6XVXcGMZTX— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 5, 2017
More details were not immediately known.
Sources here said the cause of the death was still unknown and the medical examiner’s office was investigating the incident which took place in Jersey city.
Consulate officials have reached out to the family of the deceased in Massachusetts and sources said the family has requested privacy, saying “it is a personal family matter”.
The sources strongly cautioned that the incident should not be seen as linked to a possible hate crime since details are not available and the family also has termed it as a personal issue.
The FBI is helping the hunt by the Seattle city police for an attacker who told a Sikh man to “go back to your own country” and shot him — in the second xenophobic attack on Indians in the past two weeks. India has voiced deep concern and stressed the need to prevent such incidents.
The US State Department has also, on behalf of the Donald Trump administration, expressed condolences and said they are working on the case.
A statement on Sunday from the FBI’s Seattle office said the bureau remains “committed to investigating crimes that are potentially hate-motivated”, the Seattle Times reported.
The 39-year-old victim, a US national of Indian origin, was identified by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj as Deep Rai. He received a bullet injury on his arm in the attack on Friday.
The Indian Embassy in Washington tweeted that Indian envoy Navtej Sarna “conveyed our deep concerns to the US government on recent tragic incidents”.
Sarna said India has “underlined the need to prevent such incidents and protect the Indian community” and the embassy was coordinating with “all agencies concerned to ensure speedy justice”.
The Indian embassy said the “State Department, on behalf of US government, expressed condolences and assured they are working” on it.
“We will remain in touch with them,” an Indian Embassy source said
Sushma Swaraj had tweeted that she has spoken to Sardar Harpal Singh, the father of the victim.
“He told me that his son had a bullet injury on his arm. He is out of danger and is recovering in a private hospitl,” she wrote.
There have been a slew of bias-related incidents in the US, raising concerns over the safety of the members of the Indian-American community.
Last month, 32-year-old Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed when 51-year-old US Navy veteran Adam Purinton opened fire at him and his friend Alok Madasani.