Widow of murdered Kansas engineer had been living in fear of hate crimes since Trump’s election
Sunayana Dumala — the wife of an Indian-American engineer murdered last Wednesday in Olathe, Kansas — said that she had been living in fear that something like this would happen ever since Pres. Donald Trump was elected in November.
In an interview with the BBC Dumala said that she told her slain husband Srinivas Kuchibhotla that she was afraid of what could happen to their family in the U.S. with hate crimes increasing exponentially in the wake of Trump’s Electoral College victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“I was so worried I just couldn’t sleep,” she said. “I was talking to Srini and I was like, ‘Will we be safe in this country?’ He would say ‘Nani, Nani, don’t worry. We will be OK. We will be OK.'”
She has returned to India in the wake of the attack, but plans to eventually come back to the home she shared with Kuchibhotla. She is dreading it, she said, because there will be reminders of him “everywhere.”
“His clothes, his side of the sink, the way he used to brush, shower. His daily prayers in that room, preparing his favorite food. It will be tough eating without him,” Dumala told the BBC.
Kuchibhotla was having a drink with two friends from work at Austin’s Bar and Grill when they were accosted by 51-year-old Adam Purinton who demanded to know if the Indian-Americans were in the country legally.
“Get out of my country!” Purinton shouted before leaving Austin’s and returning with a gun.
He opened fire, killing 32-year-old Kuchibhotla and inuring his coworkers at Garmin, Inc., Alok Madasani, 31, and Ian Grillot, 24.
Purinton is in custody and the attack is being investigated as a hate crime.
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