The mortal remains of 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla — killed in a hate crime in Kansas in the US — have arrived in India and his family is preparing for his last rites, which will be conducted later on Tuesday, February 28, even as the White House has said that "early reports" of the incident are disturbing. However, pressure is now mounting on US President Donald Trump to speak on the shooting, with Hillary Clinton joining the chorus.
Last rites later today
The Kuchibhotla family is currently preparing to perform the last rites of Srinivas in Hyderabad on Tuesday, after his mortal remains reached the city late on Monday night. It will come as no surprise if a political leader attends the event, or at least sends a representation. However, any such effort will be seen as a ploy to gain political mileage out of the tragic incident.
Meanwhile, Srinivas' kin have expressed concerns over the general safety of Indians in the US, and also blamed the election of Donald Trump as president. Trump has been harsh on immigration of Muslims, and the man who shot Srinivas dead had mistaken him and his friend to be from one of the Middle-Eastern countries that are often the subject of Islamophobia.
White House reacts, but Trump still silent
Seguing into the issue of the Kansas shooting after speaking on anti-Semitic attacks, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a briefing on Monday, February 27, local time, that "early reports out of Kansas are equally disturbing." Spicer had earlier refused to connect the shooting to Trump's rhetoric, saying: "Obviously, any loss of life is tragic, but I'm not going to get into, like, to suggest that there's any correlation I think is a bit absurd. So I'm not going to go any further than that."
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has urged Trump to speak up on the incident. She said on Twitter: "With threats & hate crimes on rise, we shouldnt have to tell @POTUS to do his part. He must step up & speak out."