US & Canada

Kansas shooting: Hundreds attend funeral in India

The victim's father, Madhusudhan Rao, performs rituals around his son's body Image copyright AP
Image caption The victim's father, Madhusudhan Rao, performs rituals around his son's body

Hundreds of people have gathered in India for the funeral of a man killed in the US in a possible hate crime.

Grieving family and friends cried as the body of Srinivas Kuchibhotla was cremated in the southern city of Hyderabad, where he was from.

He and another Indian man were drinking in a bar in Kansas when they were shot by a man who reportedly yelled "get out of my country" as he fired at them.

Authorities are investigating if the attack was racially motivated.

The man's uncle, PL Narayana, described his family's agony upon learning about the violent attack.

"It is so cruel. He was such a kind soul, very friendly.

"He was so excited that he and his wife were going to start a family soon. Now this has happened," Mr Narayana said.

Image copyright Mohammad Aleem
Image caption Kuchibhotla's mother hopes her other son, who studies in the US, will now return to India

The body of Kuchibohotla, an engineer who worked for GPS-maker Garmin in Kansas City, arrived in India on Monday.

His widow, Sunayana Dumala and his brother, Sai Kiran, who studied in the US, both returned to India for the funeral.

Nearly 200 people came to the the cremation, which was also attended by Bandaru Dattatreya, the union minister of state for labour.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption"He asked us if we were in the US legally"
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Kuchibhotla's shocked widow was comforted by family members

Hours after his arrival, his flower-laden body was carried from his family home in the state of Telangana to a crematorium where he was burned on a wooden pyre, in accordance with Hindu tradition.

Kuchibhotla's mother wailed as the body was taken for cremation.

"I had asked him to return to India if he was feeling insecure there. But he used to say he was safe and secure," she said through tears.

"Now I want my younger son Sai Kiran and his family to come back for good. I will not allow them to go back.

"My son had gone there in search of a better future. What crime did he commit?"

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionWidow of killed immigrant talks of her fear of hate crimes in US - and why she's determined to stay in America

Kuchibhotla and his friend, Alok Madasani, were both shot at Austin's Bar and Grill in Olathe, a Kansas City suburb, last Wednesday evening.

Mr Madasani told the BBC that the gunman had demanded to know if they were in the country legally.

Image copyright Mohammad Aleem
Image caption Some mourners held signs denouncing racism and xenophobia

The suspected attacker, Adam Purinton, 51, was arraigned in court on Monday on charges of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

He fled the scene after the shooting, and later told a bartender that he had "shot two Iranians".

The suspect, a US Navy veteran, is being held in the Johnson County Jail on a bond of $2m (£1.6m).

His next court appearance is on 9 March.

Related Topics

More on this story