The last rites of Kansas shooting victim Srinivas Kuchibhotla will be performed on Tuesday at Jubilee Hills, his family told IANS. The deceased engineer’s body was brought by a cargo flight, which arrived at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport around 10pm. There were elaborate security arrangements by the police to bar the media from the cargo terminal. Kuchibhotla’s parents K Madhusudhana Sastry and Parvata Vardhini received the mortal remains of their son along with other family members. After completing all formalities, the body was carried in an ambulance to his house at Bachupally.
The 32-year-old was shot on February 23 by US Navy veteran Adam Purinton who walked into Austins Bar and Grill in the Kansas City suburb of Olathe and shot Kuchibhotla and his friend Alok Madasani. A customer Ian Grillot was also shot when he tried to intervene in the attack. Madasani and Grillot survived the attack.
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Eye-witnesses claimed that the suspect yelled, “Get out of my country” before shooting Kuchibhotla and Madasani, who he thought were Middle Eastern. Purinton has been charged with one count of premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder. The FBI has also launched an investigation to determine whether the shooting was a hate crime.
Telangana Transport Minister Mahender Reddy, some leaders of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Andhra Pradesh’s Minister for NRI Affairs Palle Raghunath Reddy and leaders of several parties also paid their last respects to Kuchibhotla at his house. Speaking on the occasion, the two Ministers condemned the shooting incident and urged the central government to take up the matter with the US the issue to ensure safety of all Indians.
Raghunath Reddy said it was matter of concern that ever since Donald Trump took over as the US President, incidents of racial discrimination were being reported across US. He added that the two Telugu states would do everything possible to ensure protection to their professionals and students living in the US.
White House spokesperson Sean Spicer said that it was “absurd” to draw parallels between the incident and President Trump’s rhetoric. “Obviously, any loss of life is tragic, but I’m not going to get into, like, to suggest that there’s any correlation I think is a bit absurd. So I’m not going to go any further than that,” Spicer said. However, Kuchibhotla’s family believes the Trump presidency played a role in the incident.
(With inputs from ANI and IANS)