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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s wife says ‘hate is never acceptable’ after killer is sentenced to life in prison

Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s wife welcomed the judgement and said that it would send a strong message that hate is never acceptable.

india Updated: May 05, 2018 10:20 IST
Agencies
Agencies
Kansas
Srinivas Kuchibhotla poses for photo with his wife Sunayana Dumala. .
Srinivas Kuchibhotla poses for photo with his wife Sunayana Dumala. .(Kranti Shalia via AP File Photo)
         

Sunayana Dumala, the wife of engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla killed in a US shooting, welcomed the court’s decision on Friday sentencing a Navy veteran to life in prison for the racially-motivated murder.

In a video released on Friday, Dumala described her husband as an immigrant with dreams for a better future.

“Today’s sentencing in the murder of my husband will not bring back my Srinu, but it sends a strong message that hate is never acceptable. I have shared Srinu’s story to highlight the goodness in him with the hope that others will emulate his life and not that of the man who killed him.”

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed in an assault in the Kansas City suburb of Olathe in February last year. His friend Alok Madasani, also Indian, was injured along with a bystander, Ian Grillot, who tried to intervene.

52-year-old Adam Purinton received maximum punishment for the murder and two sentences of 165 months each for the attempted murders, the prosecutor’s office said.

While Purinton would be eligible for parole in 50 years, he was likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Purington, who had shot at Kuchibhotla and his friend while shouting “get out of my country”, had previously pleaded guilty to the racial slur-filled, drunken attack at a suburban bar and restaurant in Kansas. He is also facing federal hate crime and firearms charges, which could result in the death penalty. Purinton has pleaded not guilty in the federal case.

The shooting came a month after President Donald Trump was sworn into office, and ignited international outrage amid concerns of rising racial prejudice following the Republican’s divisive election campaign.

With thousands of Indians visiting the United States every year for work or study -- especially high-skilled tech workers via H-1B visas -- the attack triggered shockwaves overseas.

In the weeks after the attack, Indians were concerned that animus against immigrants was on the rise in the US.

Hundreds of mourners marched through the Kansas City suburb in memory of the victim and also honored Grillot. They held a vigil with Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh prayers.

Kuchibhotla hailed from Hyderabad. He had a master’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in Hyderabad.