The approach of US authorities to the killing of an Indian techie is very clear and categorical, India said on Wednesday, shortly after President Donald Trump condemned as “evil” and “hate” the shooting in a Kansas City bar.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said safety of Indians all over the world was a matter of top priority for the government and it will remain engaged with all authorities concerned “everywhere”.
He was replying to a question on whether foreign secretary S Jaishankar, currently in Washington, was going to raise the issue of the killing of the Indian engineer and Trump’s condemnation of it.
“The safety of Indians all over the world is a matter of top priority for the government. The approach of US authorities to the unfortunate killing of an Indian engineer is very clear and categorical.
“President trump has condemned the killing. We will remain engaged with all the authorities concerned everywhere for the safety of Indians,” Baglay said.
Breaking his silence, Trump began his first address to a joint session of the US Congress on Tuesday night with remarks denouncing the Kansas tragedy and said America condemned “hate and evil” in all forms.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and Alok Madasani, another Indian of the same age, was injured in the shooting by navy veteran Adam Purinton, who yelled “terrorist” and “get out of my country” before opening fire on them in the suburban bar.
The two worked for technology firm Garmin.
A 24-year-old American named Ian Grillot who tried to defend the Indians also received injuries in the firing last Wednesday. Purinton, 51, apparently mistook the Indians for immigrants from the Middle East and yelled racial slurs “get out of my country” and “terrorists” before opening fire on them.
Trump’s comments came after the White House condemned the shooting as “racially-motivated hatred”.
The US Embassy in New Delhi too expressed regret on Tuesday over the Kansas killing. “I hate these types of incidents, which are really very unfortunate. But Americans are not against Indians,” counsellor for cultural affairs in the embassy, Dr Craig L Dicker, told reporters.
A day ago, India rejected media reports that a demarche was issued to the United States over the killing of the Hyderabad engineer, saying pro-active response of the American government and senior authorities in Kansas “obviated” the need for such an action.
Baglay said then that the US government and senior authorities in Kansas had promptly responded to the killing of Kuchibhotla, and also drew attention to the strong condemnation of the tragic shooting by the US Embassy in New Delhi.
Experts say India’s measured reaction was guided by more pressing concerns of the US putting curbs on H-1B visas, which are the lifeblood of the Indian IT industry.
During his presidential campaign, Trump had promised to bring back software jobs from abroad. This can spell doom for Indian firms, who receive 60% of all H-1B visas, and account for a $150 billion-dollar industry.