Xenophobia and racism is on the rise in USA and Indians are being targeted more than often. While the Indians were standing against these hate crimes, a 29-year-old Indian-American man has been found dead in the US state of New Jersey, an incident which the family has described as a “personal issue”.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that the Indian Consulate here “has spoken to the father of the deceased in Massachusetts. He says this is a personal family tragedy”.
Consulate officials have reached out to the deceased’s family in Massachusetts and sources said the family has requested privacy, saying “it is a personal family matter”.
The sources strongly cautioned that the incident should not be seen as linked to a possible hate crime since all details are still not available and the family too has termed it as a personal issue.
A 43-year-old Indian-origin store owner in the US was shot dead outside his home, just days after an Indian engineer was killed in Kansas in a hate crime shooting that had sent shockwaves across the country.
Harnish Patel, 43, the owner of a convenience store in Lancaster County, South Carolina, was found dead of gunshot wounds in the front yard of his home on Thursday, coroner and police officials said.
Patel was found in the yard a few minutes before midnight, according to a statement from the Lancaster County Coroner’s Office.Friends and customers were in shock and were visiting Patel’s home to offer condolences to his family.
Patel’s death comes close on the heels of the shooting in Kansas of a 32-year-old Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was killed when 51-year-old US Navy veteran Adam Purinton opened fire at him and his friend Alok Madasani at a bar before yelling “get out of my country.”
The shooting last month had sent shockwaves across the Indian-American community with people expressing concerns over their safety in an enviornment of xenophobic and racist rhetoric in the country.
US President Donald Trump had condemned the Kansas shooting. He had said America stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.The FBI has joined the investigation into the shooting of a Sikh man by a partially- masked gunman, who shouted “go back to your own country”, in a suspected hate crime.
Deep Rai, a US national of Indian-origin, was shot outside his home in Kent, Washington, on Friday. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating the incident as a potentially hate-motivated crime.
Meanwhile, Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera has condemned the shooting saying crimes motivated by hate are on the rise. “This disturbing crime is an outrage that goes against everything we stand for as a nation of immigrants,” Bera said.
The Sikh Coalition praised Kent Police for swiftly moving to investigate the incident as a hate crime. The Coalition also urged the Trump administration to take concrete actions to prevent the recurrence of such crimes.