NEW YORK: In a unique and welcome gesture, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has written a letter to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing “profound regret” at the shooting of two Indian engineers in a bar in Olathe, by a racist native Kansan who is now in custody, and assuring that Indians are welcome in the state.
Brownback has publicly condemned the shooting of Indian engineers Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Reddy Madasani, who worked on an H-1B visa for Garmin. They were shot by a Navy veteran Adam Purinton, who shouted at them to get out of the country before opening fire after an altercation incited by him, at the Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe. Kuchibhotla died.
Brownback had also met the Indian Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray in Topeka and expressed his sincere condolences at the hate crime.
Here’s excerpts from the letter written on March 3rd by Brownback to Modi, in which he also praised the courage, grace, and indomitable spirit of Sunayana Dumala, the widow of KuchibhotlaL
“As Governor of the State of Kansas, I would like to express my deep sadness and profound regret at the terrible act of violence committed against Srinu Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani. The people of Kansas share in my shock and horror. Words cannot express the sorrow that we feel for Srinu’s wife, Sunayana, and his family in Hyderabad.
“In the time since Srinu’s death, we have reflected on his life, and the words I have heard most often to describe him are that he was courageous, and that he loved his family, and that he respected elders. We strive to live in Srinu’s example of courage and love and respect
“His friends describe him as charming, caring and loving. He brought with him his immense talents and education and passion. His story is similar to the thousands of Indian diaspora who have called Kansas home over generations.
“They have enjoyed tremendous success through their ingenuity, hard work, and determination. Our state has thrived because of their contributions,” Brownback wrote of Indians in the state of Kansas, adding that he would like to personally welcome Indians to his state.
“Before they moved here, Sunayana said: ‘Kansas was (the) instant choice.’ We are humbled that this was the case. I would like to personally welcome Indians to Kansas, and assure them that Kansas is a welcoming, hospitable place.
“Acts of hate and intolerance have no place in Kansas. Since our founding, Kansas have fought against injustice and senseless hatred. We are recommitted daily to protecting our family, our neighbors, our guests. We find wisdom and peace in the Sanskrit mantra ‘Satyameva Jayate’.”