The shooting of a 39-year-old Sikh man in Washington state by a partially-masked gunman is being investigated as a possible hate crime by the FBI, as concerns rise among the Indian community about their safety in the US.
Deep Rai, a US national, was working on his vehicle outside his home on Friday night in the city of Kent when an unidentified man approached him. The man shouted "go back to your own country" and then shot Rai in the arm following an argument.
Indian American Congressman Ami Bera has condemned the shooting of an Indian-origin Sikh man in Kent, saying crime motivated by hate are on the rise even as FBI joined probe into the "potentially hate-motivated crime".
Ami Bera, Indian-American CongressmanThis disturbing crime is an outrage that goes against everything we stand for as a nation of immigrants. On the heels of the Kansas shooting, crimes motivated by hate are on the rise. Xenophobia and racism have no place in America, and we as a nation need to stand up to these hate crimes – starting with the President. Thankfully, the victim is recovering, and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.
The US on Sunday assured India of working with all agencies to ensure "speedy justice" to the Indian-American victims of bias-related incidents.
India's Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna reached out to the State Department to convey his "deep concerns" to US government on recent tragic incidents involving businessman Hardish Patel and Deep Rai.
Sarna also "underlined" need to prevent such incidents and protect Indian community.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj also reacted to the Kent attack, saying that she has spoken to the victim’s family and he is now out of danger.
I am sorry to know about the attack on Deep Rai a US national of Indian origin. I have spoken to Sardar Harpal Singh father of the victim./1— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 5, 2017
He told me that his son had a bullet injury on his arm. He is out of danger and is recovering in a private hospital. /2— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 5, 2017
This incident comes close on the heels of shooting in Kansas last month in which 32-year-old Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed when 51-year-old US Navy veteran Adam Purinton opened fire at him and his friend Alok Madasani, yelling "get out of my country".
(With inputs from PTI)