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Indian techie Kuchibhotla’s widow attends Trump’s State of the Union Address

Sunayana Dumala, the widow of Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla who was shot dead in a suburban bar in Olathe city in the US, attended President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address.

world Updated: Jan 31, 2018 12:57 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Washington
Srinivas Kuchibhotla,Sunayana Dumala,Donald Trump
Srinivas Kuchibhotla with his wife Sunayana Dumala. Kuchibhotla was shot dead in a bar in Olathe in Kansas.(AP file photo)

Sunayana Dumala, the widow of Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla who was shot dead in a hate crime shooting in Kansas in the US last year, attended President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address.

Sunayana, 32, was invited as a guest by Congressman Kevin Yoder to attend the event.

Kuchibhotla was shot dead while his colleague, also an Indian, sustained bullet injuries after an American navy veteran opened fire in a crowded suburban bar in Olathe city in February last year.

The shooter thought they were Middle Easterners and was heard telling them to “get out of my country” at the time of the shooting.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sunayana met a number of Congressional leaders including House speaker Paul Ryan.The speaker said he knows Sunayana’s story and remembers her.

Yoder said he asked Sunayana to be his guest as a recognition for her tireless efforts to promote peace, and as a message to the Indian community that the US is a nation of immigrants and they are welcome here.

“Each year, I have the privilege of inviting one guest to attend the president’s State of the Union address. This year, I invited Sunayana Dumala, widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, the Indian immigrant who was tragically killed in the hate crime shooting last year at in Olathe,” Yoder said.

The Indian-American community welcomed the move.

Brijpal Singh, the chairman of the India Association of Kansas City, said this step will not only assure the Indian community but also send a strong message about the unstinted support from the elected representatives and administration towards the Indian community.

“This further strengthens our belief and confidence in the American system and its Constitution where everyone is respected, loved and is welcome,” Singh said in a letter to Yoder.

The State of the Union Address is a traditional annual speech of the US president to a joint session of the Congress where he gives an account of the situation in the country.

First Published: Jan 31, 2018 12:57 IST