Dozens mark birthday of Indian engineer killed at Olathe bar

In this undated photo provided by Kranti Shalia, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, left, poses for photo with Alok Madasani and his wife Sunayana Dumala in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In the middle of a crowded bar, a 51-year-old former air traffic controller yelled at two Indian men - Kuchibhotla and Madasani - to "get out of my country," witnesses said, then opened fire in an attack that killed one of the men and wounded the other, as well as a third man who tried to help, Thursday, Feb 23, 2017, in Olathe, Kan. (Kranti Shalia via AP)

HYDERABAD, India (AP) — Dozens of people held a candlelight vigil in southern India on Thursday to mark the birthday of an Indian engineer shot dead last month in Kansas in an attack the FBI is investigating as a possible hate crime.

In addition to marking Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s 33rd birthday, the people in technology hub Hyderabad also protested what they say is a rising wave of hate crimes in America.

According to witnesses, the gunman yelled “Get out of my country” at Kuchibhotla and his colleague Alok Madasani before opening fire at a bar in Olathe, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City.

Madasani and another bar patron were wounded.

Adam Purinton of Olathe was arrested at another bar after telling a bartender he shot two people he described as Iranian. He remains jailed on murder and attempted murder charges.

The participants in Hyderabad included the family of Kuchibhotla. The marchers held candles as well as posters decrying attacks on Indians in the United States in recent days.

The placards had slogans such as “Wake up India” and “Stop Racism, Stop Hate Crime.”

Last week a Sikh man was shot at by an unidentified man as he worked on his car in the city of Kent, a suburb of Seattle.

“This gathering is a reflection of the growing concern and disquiet among Indians over the safety and security of their people in the United States,” said M. Rajkumar, who heads an organization of parents who have children living and working outside India.

Rajkumar said he blames U.S. President Donald Trump’s speeches for the increasing attacks against Indians in America.

 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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