HYDERABAD: Cases of mistaken identity are common with scores of Indians living in the US. Indians with features and colour similar to those of the people from the Middle East or West Asia are likely to be mistaken and targeted.
In the Kansas shooting, the navy veteran mistook Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Reddy of being from the Middle East, and shouted at them to get out of his country while firing shots at them.
According to Mohan Nannapaneni, past president of TANA (Telugu Association of North America), physical attacks on Indians, including Sikhs, were largely happening on this count: of them being suspected as people of Middle East origin.
Youngsters from white families in semi-urban and rural areas join US Defence forces without going for higher studies, and the scars of War on Terror in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan took a toll on several families, leading to a mental trauma.
Now and then, they vent their anger at people of non-white origin. We are hopeful the law enforcement agencies would take stringent action against the culprit, so as to send a message that hate crimes will be dealt with strongly.
Mohan, who came to visit his parents here, urged Indians to be cautious for now. Indians in the US say locals can’t really differentiate between those from West Asia and India and this has become a big worry. Venkat. P from Los Angeles suggested Indians avoid arguments and just walk away from situations that could escalate.
This is not the U.S. I had lived in: KT Rama Rao
State NRI-affairs minister K.T. Rama Rao feels that the America where he lived for eight years since 2000 was different from what it is today. Hate crimes have increased of late and this does not augur well for immigrants.
He said this after consoling the deceased Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s family in Bachupally along with minister Mahender Reddy and a few MPs, on Saturday. The minister said he would go to New Delhi and meet external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to discuss the issue of insecurity of Indians in the US.
Meanwhile, Indian-born Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has condemned the Kansas shooting incident that claimed the life of the Indian techie. “There’s no place for senseless violence and bigotry in our society. My heart is with the victims and families of the horrific shooting in Kansas,” he tweeted.
US senator Kamala Harris, said she was extremely saddened to hear the news from Kansas. “We can’t let hatred win. Law-abiding immigrant families are just like those that built this nation, she wrote on Twitter. Garmin, where Kuchibhotla, worked also released a statement mourning their employee....