India has been jolted by the news of another hate crime which has occurred a fortnight after the killing of an Indian-origin engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla in the US.
Harnish Patel (43), an Indian-origin businessman, was shot dead outside his Lancaster home in a racist attack in South Carolina in the United States on March 2, 2017. Harnish is the second casualty within a fortnight.
P.S. Cover image does not depict this criminal instance.
Patel's killing has led to public outrage in US and India. People reacted strongly on social media. Lamenting the killing of Patel, Salman Ali, living in US for past five years said, "These are dangerous times. You don't know whom to trust. Patel had come back from his shop when he got killed. His daily work routine cost him his life."
Another US resident Dev Patel, while talking to this reporter said, "I fear moving out in the night. You don't know who is coming behind or in front of you and what is he carrying. There is pall of fear among the Indian residents living in the US. We don't know what to do with our lives. Going back to India now, after 15 years of living here is not the option and living here is not without danger."
While the Indian-Americans reaction was one of fear, the Indians at home were equally perturbed. A security analyst from India, Dr. Ambreen Agha, Researcher at Indian Council of World Affairs, said that these two recent killings of Indians in the US should be seen in the larger context of racism, the current political dispensation and the prevalent gun culture in America.
Dr. Agha in her remarks said, "There are no measures in the US for gun control. Though there is a huge availability of legal guns, there are several ways to obtain guns illegally too." Referring to current political climate in the country, she said, "It is one of antagonism, where white supremacists/racists have come out of their cocoons to spell fear on the streets."
On social media, former Human Resource Development Minister, Kapil Sibal tweeted, "Modi's 56 inches chest isn't strong enough to protect the lives of Indians living in US."
However, there was no official statement from the Government of India, till the filing of this report. After the killing of Srinivas, US President Donald Trump had condemned the Kansas shooting and said, "America stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms."