Washington, DC (June 9, 2017) — Leaders of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) lauded the US Attorney in Kansas for charging Adam Purinton with a hate crime for shooting and killing Srinivas Kuchibotla and the wounding of Alok Madasani in an Olathe bar. Prior to the shooting, Purinton was escorted out of the establishment, after he told Kuchibotla and Madasani to “get out of my country” only to return with a loaded gun and an intent to kill them. Upon spraying bullets at his targets, Ian Grillot, a bystander who tried to prevent the shooting, was also severely injured.
“This is a positive step not just for the loved ones of Srinivas, but for victims of hate crimes across the United States who await justice,” said Suhag Shukla, Esq., HAF Executive Director and Legal Counsel. “It is now incumbent upon the Department of Justice to pursue this hate crime charge to the furthest extent of the law. Anything short will be a grave injustice to his widow Sunayna, as well as the people of Olathe and beyond.”
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, HAF met with Governor Sam Brownback, Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, and Department of Justice officials, alongside community members demanding Purinton be charged with a hate crime. Governor Brownback was also urged to ratify a state-level hate crime statute, to ensure the maximum penalty can be levied against perpetrators of such incidents. Kansas is one of few states remaining to ratify such a law.
“Governor Brownback must champion a hate crime statute in Kansas before his departure from Topeka,” said Jay Kansara, Director of Government Relations. “This alone will ensure the murder of Srinivas is not in vain. In our first meeting, the Governor said ‘We can either get bitter, or we can get better.’ Kansas will only get better from having such a law on its books.”