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Trump’s silence ‘disquieting’: Kansas City Star edit on Indian techie’s killing

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 28-02-2017

Three days after an Indian engineer was shot dead and his friend wounded by a shooter at a bar in Kansas, a growing chorus of voices is asking why President Donald Trump has not broken his silence.

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In a strongly-worded editorial on Monday, the Kansas City Star said the President’s complete silence was ‘disquieting’. “ Mum. Not a word has been spoken, tweeted or prepped for Trump’s teleprompter,” says the piece.

On February 25, Adam Purinton, 51, a US Navy veteran, shot IT engineers Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani. Purinton thought the men belonged to the Middle-east and yelled at them to “get out of my country” before opening fire. While Kuchibhotla died in the hospital, Madasani was wounded. Another man, Ian Grillot, who tried to stop the attack, was also seriously wounded.

The shooting sparked fears that Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric could fuel hate crimes. While many prominent public figures stepped up to condemn the incident in no uncertain terms, Trump’s studied silence has raised eyebrows. On Friday, at the daily White House briefing, press secretary Sean Spicer said the deaths were ‘tragic’ but dismissed suggestions that they were linked to Trump’s rhetoric as “absurd”.

White House reacts to Indian's shooting: 'Reports from Kansas disturbing'

The President, known for tweeting compulsively, has not once mentioned the killings in the 42 tweets he put out after the incident.

The editorial rips apart Trump’s reaction. “Trump has offered no words of condolence for the grieving widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who died from his gunshot wounds. The president has expressed no sympathy for Kuchibhotla’s best friend, Alok Madasani, who continues to recover from bullet wounds and the trauma.

Trump usually loves to celebrate all-American heroes. But he’s passed on commending Ian Grillot, a bystander who leapt to take the gunman down before anyone else was harmed. Grillot was shot, too.”

The incident offered Trump a “crucial opportunity to condemn such hateful acts”, the newspaper goes on to say that others have grasped the role that the US President should have played, pointing to Hillary Clinton’s tweet.

The editorial concludes by saying that the world will be watching Trump on Tuesday night, when he addresses a joint session of Congress. “He should use the opportunity to thoughtfully —and belatedly — address this brazen act of violence. Because with each passing day, Trump’s silence is even more telling.”

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