WASHINGTON, DC: Democrat Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) has condemned the recent wave of hate crimes against Indians in the United States, including the murder of engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla at a bar in Olathe, Kansas, where a colleague and friend of the victim, Alok Reddy Madasani was injured too, and the shooting of Deep Rai, in his own driveway, in Seattle, Washington.
Costa released a statement on the hate crimes:
“We, as Americans, should never forget that our country was founded in part on the principle of religious freedom. Our constitution protects the freedom of religion.
“The recent hate crimes against Indian Americans in Washington and Kansas cannot and will not be tolerated. Attacks on the Indian community are rooted in hatred, bigotry, and a complete lack of understanding of the faith and culture. As a nation of immigrants, we must treat every American citizen with the same level of respect and acceptance into our communities. Hate crimes, especially those that are based on intolerance for a certain race, creed or gender, have no place in our country.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and all the Indian communities across the country. Justice must be served, and I commend the agencies that are working together to prosecute the individuals who are responsible for the horrific and hateful attacks.
“The Central Valley is home to millions of individuals with different backgrounds, faiths, ethnicities, and cultures, and I urge Valley residents to get know their neighbors, work colleagues, or store clerks – someone who looks, talks, dresses, or prays differently. Continued ignorance is only going to fuel hate. We must get to know one another, appreciate our differences, and remind ourselves that what unites us as Americans is far stronger than what divides us.”
Costa’s statement is in line with similar condemnation of hate crimes by the five Indian American legislators on Capitol Hill: Reps. Ami Bera, Pramila Jayapal, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna, and Sen. Kamala Harris.
Another Indian American man was shot dead recently, in Lancaster, South Carolina, in his front yard, by an unidentified attacker. The motive for Harnish Patel’s death is yet to be ascertained.