Hyderabad student shot at in Chicago after parking lot argument
Mohammad Akbar, who was studying for his postgraduate degree in computer systems networking and telecommunications at DeVry University, is undergoing treatment for a bullet woundindia Updated: Dec 10, 2017 22:56 IST
A 30-year-old Muslim man from Hyderabad was shot in his right cheek by an unidentified assailant after an argument at a parking lot in Chicago last Wednesday.
Mohammad Akbar, who was studying for his postgraduate degree in computer systems networking and telecommunications at DeVry University in the US city, is undergoing treatment Illinois Masonic Medical Center for a bullet wound. His condition is said to be serious.
He has been in Chicago for the past three years and currently staying in a flat on Whipple Street. The attack happened at the Albany Park neighbourhood, which is around 4km from his flat.
Mohammad Yousuf, a resident of Meerpet in Hyderabad, said his son was shot at when he was walking towards his car in Albany Park around 8.45am local time (8.15pm IST).
Akbar’s elder brothers, Shafi and Ashraf, told reporters that his jaw needed two surgeries.
Akbar’s friends told the family that a man fire at him after an argument. Residents and passersby reportedly rushed to Akbar’s help after hearing the gunshot and took him to hospital.
“We are yet to know more … We have applied for an emergency visa to go to the US,” Shafi said.
The family has approached the Telangana government as well as external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj for help.
Chicago police said they were not treating the attack as hate crime. Nobody has been arrested yet.
The shooting triggered concern as there have been a growing attacks on Indians and Americans of Indian descent in recent months, sometimes mistaken for west Asians.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a software engineer from India, was fatally shot in Olathe, Kansas, in February by a US navy veteran who had told him and his friend at a bar to go back to their country.
Weeks later, a Sikh man was shot in his arm in his driveway in Kent, Washington state, by a masked man who had told him go back to his “own country”.
In 2016, there were 307 cases of hate crimes against Muslims, a group targeted by President Donald Trump in his rhetoric and policies such as a travel ban. The number is up from 257 in 2015 and 154 in 2014, according to recent reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
There were 10 cases of hate crimes against Hindus and seven against Sikhs among more than 6,000 attacks motivated by biases towards religions, race or ethnicity and sexual orientation in 2016.
(with inputs from Yashwant Raj in Washington)