The Indian American community is reacting with outrage and sadness to the fatal shooting of Srinivasan Kuchibhotla, an IT engineer from Hyderabad, at a Kansas bar on Wednesday, and has blamed it on rising social tensions since the election of President Donald Trump.
“This President now has blood on his hands,” said Shekhar Narasimha, a businessman and Democratic strategist. “He has incited and created the environment where hate crimes are emboldened. All those of colour have something to fear now for our children and theirs.”
“I pray we do not have a hot summer in the United States as we have no moral leadership left capable of quelling violence if it erupts.”
The Hindu American Foundation, a bipartisan advocacy group, was equally clear in linking the shooting to the current atmosphere. “The murder of Kuchibhotla is the first reported bias-motivated fatality in the United States after the bitter Presidential election,” it said in a statement.
It went on to add: “This tragic shooting occurs as hate crimes and acts of bigotry have risen notably in recent months.” And listed the vandalising of a Jewish cemetery and offices of Jewish civil society organisations receiving bomb threats.
Though Republicans wouldn’t go so far as to link the killing to the election or the rhetoric surrounding it, they felt outraged as well. Puneet Ahluwalia, a Republican strategist, said, “It is tragic, upsetting and unacceptable. This kind of demented rage and their perpetrators have to be stopped and prosecuted. This is a threat to the greatness and hope which America is to so many.”