sushma swaraj
Pictured: MEA Sushma SwarajIANS

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj expressed her condolences to the family of Harnish Patel, an Indian-American who was shot dead in the US, and inquired about the well-being of another US national of Indian origin Deep Rai, who was shot on Friday (March 3). 

Also read: Sikh man Deep Rai shot in arm in Seattle suburb after asked to go back to 'own country'

"I am pained to hear about the killing of Harnish Patel a US national of Indian origin in Lancaster, South Carolina. Our Consul has reached Lancaster and met the family of Harnish Patel. The investigation of the case is in progress. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family," Swaraj said in a series of tweets. 

She also said: "I am sorry to know about the attack on Deep Rai a US national of Indian origin. I have spoken to Sardar Harpal Singh father of the victim. He told me that his son had a bullet injury on his arm. He is out of danger and is recovering in a private hospital." 

Rai was shot in the Seattle suburb of Kent. The police are still searching for the gunman, who was partially masked. He had walked into the driveway of the Sikh man and shot him in the arm after telling him to "go back to your own country" on Friday evening. 

Rai suspected that the gunman was a stocky white man with a height of around six foot and with a mask on covering the lower half of his face. 

Patel, 43, was shot in Lancaster County, South Carolina. He was the owner of a convenience store and was found with gunshot injuries in the front yard of his home on Thursday. 

In Kansas, an Indian engineer was shot dead and another was injured on February 22. Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, had gone to a bar, where he was shot dead allegedly by a 51-year-old US Navy veteran who shouted: "get out of my country," before the act. 

There has been an increase in hate crimes against Indians in the US recently. In another incident, an Indian-origin woman was subjected to racial slurs in the subway by an African-American man.