OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — The widow of an Indian man killed nearly a year ago in a suspected hate crime in Kansas has devoted herself to spreading love and positivity in his name.
Police allege Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, an Indian immigrant who lived in Olathe, was shot to death last February at Austins Bar & Grill by Adam Purinton, who witnesses said yelled for the victim to “get out of my country.” Purinton faces charges that include first-degree murder and hate crime, the Kansas City Star reported .
Sunayana Dumala, 33, spoke publicly about her late husband last month at Garmin, where Kuchibhotla worked. The company has hung a painting of Kuchibhotla in their Olathe headquarters to honor him.
Dumala said she still doesn’t feel very welcome in the U.S. and that the country’s immigration system discriminates against Indian immigrants by making them wait longer for full citizenship than people from other countries.
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“I never know where I’ll be in another (few) years, and I don’t think it’s fair to me,” said Dumala, who just learned she was granted a new visa after her previous one terminated with Kuchibhotla’s death.
“She’s a very powerful symbol of who the system is failing,” said Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder, who has been working to advocate on Dumala’s behalf. “One of the reasons I’ve become so passionate about this immigration issue is that we need to send a message to the Indian community and other immigrant groups that we are a loving that is welcome to all.”
Dumala said she’s become increasingly outspoken against hate in an effort to share Kuchibhotla’s legacy and is trying to appeal to the best in people.
“All of these factors, they all keep me pushing. I can’t let people forget him,” she said. “I’m committed … to let people see what Srinivas was actually like as a person … and how much he would have contributed to this society had he been alive.”
Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com