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Trump condemns Indian techie's killing in address to Congress

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Breaking his silence, US President Donald Trump today condemned as "evil" and "hate" the fatal Kansas shooting in which an Indian techie was killed.

"Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week's shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be anation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms," Trump said in his first address to the joint session of US Congress.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and Alok Madasani, another Indian of the same age, injured in the shooting by navy veteran Adam Purinton, who yelled "terrorist" and "get out of my country" before opening fire on them.

The two work for technology firm Garmin.

A 24-year-old American named Ian Grillot who tried to defend the Indians also received injuries in the firing last Wednesday. Purinton, 51, apparently mistook the Indians for immigrants from the Middle East and yelled racial slurs "get out of my country" and "terrorists" before opening fire on them.

Trump's comments came after the White House condemned the shooting as "racially-motivated hatred".

"As more facts come to light, and it begins to look like this was an act of racially-motivated hatred, we want to reiterate that the President condemns these and any other racially or religiously motivated attacks in the strongest terms," White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters during an off-camera conference.

"They have no place in our country and we will continue to make that clear," Sanders said.

"The President is keeping the family of the victim, who was senselessly, killed in his thoughts, and we're praying for the full and speedy recovery of those who were wounded," Sanders said.

By mentioning Kansas in his address, Trump heeded to the call being made by a number of Indian-American organisations and lawmakers to publicly condemn the shooting which is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a hate crime.

The FBI, along with the US Attorney's Office and the Department of Justice'scivil rightsdivision, is working with the Olathe Police Department to investigate the shooting.

(Reopens FGN 14)

In a video statement, Shalabh Kumar, founder of the Republican Hindu Coalition, "thanked" Trump for his remarks on Kansas shooting in his address to the Congress.

"We at Republican Hindu Coalition thank President Trump for making the statement at the appropriate time," he said.

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First Published: Wed, March 01 2017. 11:42 IST