Indian in Lancaster was Shot Dead in “TRUMPLAND”

Hyderabad: Even as the people in the country, especially the Telugus in Telangana State, could recover from shock over the brutal and senseless killing of two Techies in separate shooting incidents in the United States recently, the shooting to death of a Gujarati businessman in Lancaster, South Carolina, on Friday night sent fresh tremors among hundreds of NRI families here in the state.

According to reports, Harnish Patel was shot dead by unknown assailants a few yards away from his house last night. Patel is stated to be the owner of a Speed Mark Shopping Store on the Highway. After closing his stores around 11.24 PM, he was returning home, when the assailants accosted and rained bullets on him. A woman in the neighborhood who had heard the gunshots had alerted the police by calling 911 Emergency. Immediately the Lancaster County police reached the spot and took up investigations.

According to Lancaster Sheriff Barry Faile, Harnish Patel was shot twice and the police have recovered empty shells from the scene of crime. While the police have ruled out racial motive in the shooting, they were not able to pin point whether the motive could be attributed as robbery.

On February 22, a software engineer from Hyderabad Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot dead and his colleague Alok Madasani and another American were injured by a 51-year old Navy veteran, when they were in Austin’s Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas City. Earlier in another incident in the US a techie from Hanmakonda Vamsi Reddy was also shot dead near his apartment in California.

These shooting incidents have triggered off not only unprecedented outrage, but also led to panic among the families of children who were either working or studying in the US.

The strong protests and condemnation all over the world over these incidents forced US President Donald Trump to express his anguish and concern. Trump asserted that his administration would not allow or tolerate such crimes. However, a sense of panic continued to reign supreme among the families of NRIs here, and they have even started putting pressure on their wards to think about returning back to India, as they fear that USA is no longer a safe place.

The latest shooting incident, the third within a few weeks has further heightened the concern among the NRI families here. (NSS)

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