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Rediff.com  » News » FBI joins probe into Sikh man's shooting; US assures India of speedy justice

FBI joins probe into Sikh man's shooting; US assures India of speedy justice

Last updated on: March 06, 2017 11:05 IST

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined the investigation into the shooting of a Sikh man by a partially-masked gunman, who shouted "go back to your own country", in a suspected hate crime.

 

Deep Rai, a US national of Indian-origin, was shot outside his home in Kent, Washington, on Friday.

The FBI is investigating the incident as a potentially hate-motivated crime.

"The Seattle FBI is assisting the Kent Police Department through a joint investigation of the shooting incident. The FBI remains committed to investigating crimes that are potentially hate-motivated and we continue to work with all our community partners in the Seattle area," said FBI Seattle Spokesperson Ayn Dietrich.

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US assures India of speedy justice

The United States on Monday assured India of "speedy justice" to the Indian-American victims of hate-related crimes as the Indian envoy in Washington reached out to the State Department to convey his "deep concerns" over such tragic incidents.

"State Department, on behalf of US Govt, expressed condolences and assured they are working with all agencies concerned to ensure speedy justice," the Indian Embassy in the US said in a series of tweets.

India's Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna reached out to the State Department to convey his "deep concerns" to the US government on the recent tragic incidents involving Harnish Patel and Deep Rai.

Patel, 43, the owner of a convenience store in Lancaster County, South Carolina, was found dead of gunshot wounds in the front yard of his home on Thursday.

Rai, 39-year-old Sikh, has been shot outside his home by a partially-masked gunman who shouted "go back to your own country", in a suspected hate crime.

Sarna also "underlined" the need to prevent such incidents and protect the Indian community.

Indian Embassy officials are in constant communication with local police officials in both the cases.

There have been a slew of bias-related incidents in the US, raising concerns over the safety of the members of the Indian-American community.

Last month, 32-year-old Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed when 51-year-old US Navy veteran Adam Purinton opened fire at him and his friend Alok Madasani, yelling "get out of my country".

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Crimes motivated by hate are on the rise: Ami Bera

Meanwhile, Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera has condemned the shooting of Rai, saying crimes motivated by hate are on the rise.

"This disturbing crime is an outrage that goes against everything we stand for as a nation of immigrants," Bera said.

"On the heels of the Kansas shooting, crimes motivated by hate are on the rise," Bera said.

"Xenophobia and racism have no place in America, and we as a nation need to stand up to these hate crimes -- starting with the President (Donald Trump). Thankfully, the victim is recovering and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family," said Bera, the three-term Indian American Congressman from California.

The Sikh Coalition praised Kent Police for swiftly moving to investigate the incident as a hate crime.

"We applaud the decision by the Kent Police Department to pursue a hate crime investigation," said Sikh Coalition interim programme manager, Rajdeep Singh.

The Coalition also urged the Trump administration to take concrete actions to prevent the recurrence of such crimes.

"Immigrants and religious minorities are being attacked around the nation, but the Trump administration has not even created a task force to address this issue...," Rajdeep said, adding, "The White House needs to show leadership in preventing hate violence."

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