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The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) has con-demned the recent shooting death of Indian American Srinivas Kuchibhotla of Kansas. GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham said that the “apparent hate crime” is  vicious  and GOPIO stands together with the victims’ families at their time of distress.

The 32-year-old Indian engineer Ku-chibhotla, who was working in aviation sys-tems for Olathe-based Garmin Ltd, died after he was shot by navy veteran Adam Purinton who, according to witnesses, yelled “get out of my country” and “terrorist” at a bar on the night of February 22nd, 2017 be-fore opening fire.

Kuchibhotla’s colleague Alok Ma-dasani, also an engineer from Hyderabad, was critically injured in the attack. Another bar patron, 24-year old Ian Grillot, who had tried to apprehend the gunman, was also in-jured in the shooting and reportedly put his life in risk to save the Indians.

“Our thoughts are with the victims and families shaken by the shooting in Kansas and we do not have place for senseless acts of violence in our country,’ said GOPIO Presi-dent Niraj Baxi.

GOPIO news release stated that any act of violence fueled by hatred, xenophobia and prejudice cannot be tolerated. The local and federal law enforcement must investigate the shooting as a hate crime. “The FBI and other state agencies must initiate quick legal pro-ceedings against the murderer and the inci-dent must be treated as a hate crime,” said GOPIO Vice President Ram Gadhavi. We also want White House to issue a statement against such senseless violence against immi-grants who are legally in America and con-tribute to the economy of our country,” said Dr. Rajeev Mehta, GOPIO’s International Coordinator for North America.

GOPIO has also urged the communi-ty to sign the petition to the White House https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/indian-engineers-target-hate-crime. GOPIO Chapters have also planned Candlelight Vig-ils around the US. One such vigil has been planned in Riverside, Southern California by GOPIO-Inland Empire Chapter on March 5th.

GOPIO, with its many chapters in the USA and other parts of the world, has been working for the welfare of Diaspora Indians since 1989. It has taken up issues of the In-dian Diaspora and has been promoting its interest and that of Indian around the world. Contact: GOPIO International, Tel: 203-329-8010, gopio@optonline.net.