White House condemns attack on Indians in Kansas bar as 'racially motivated hatred'

In his speech to Congress Tuesday night, President Trump condemned recent anti-Semitic attacks in the US, and last week's killing of an Indian man in Kansas.
Sunayana Dumala (right), the wife of murdered Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, is consoled by family members at his funeral.
Sunayana Dumala (right), the wife of murdered Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, is consoled by family members at his funeral.PHOTO: AFP
The victim's father, Mr K. Madhusudhana Sastry (second right), is consoled during his son's funeral.
The victim's father, Mr K. Madhusudhana Sastry (second right), is consoled during his son's funeral.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The White House on Tuesday (Feb 28) condemned an attack in a Kansas bar that left one Indian man dead and another wounded as an apparent act of "racially motivated hatred."

After criticism that US President Donald Trump had not condemned the attack, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the President may address the question in his maiden address to Congress on Tuesday night and did condemn the violence.

The condemnation came as grieving family and friends mourned engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla in the Indian city of Hyderabad.

A US Navy veteran has been charged with the 32-year-old's murder.

The victim's father performed the last rites according to Hindu rituals as his wife sitting next to the garlanded body broke down in tears.

A second Indian engineer was injured by the drunk white man, who allegedly screamed "Get out of my country" as he opened fire at a bar in Olathe, Kansas.

The shooting has made headlines in the Indian media amid concerns that the hardline immigration policies of Trump may have created the climate for such an attack.

On Tuesday, some of the dead man's supporters were seen carrying placards that read "Down with racism" and "Down with Trump" in front of the burning funeral pyre.

In the wake of the killing, there has been a growing chorus of demand for Washington to act.

"The US should respond to this incident. The American president and people of America, they should come out openly to condemn such actions... and then take strongest action," Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu was quoted over the weekend by the Press Trust of India as saying.

The Times of India said in an editorial on Monday that the shooting had shocked the Indian community in the US and urged Trump to "make it clear that such hate is not acceptable in his America".