US engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was to celebrate his birthday, instead family awaits his body

Srinivas’s body will arrive at the Hyderabad airport on Monday night
 US engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was to celebrate his birthday, instead family awaits his body
US engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was to celebrate his birthday, instead family awaits his body
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On March 9, US-based Hyderabad engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s family would have celebrated his birthday, instead they are making arrangements for his funeral.

Srinivas’s elder brother K T Shashtri could not control his grief as he said that this year too the family back in Hyderabad would have gotten together and wished Srinivas on his birthday over Skype.

“Every year on his brithday, he usually talks to us on a video call. And we all come together just for that video call, so it is like a small get together for the family here in Hyderabad. But when I see all the relatives gathering at our house, it is heartbreaking. This gathering is not for any celebration,” he told TNM.

The body of Hyderabad engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was shot dead in the US in an alleged racist attack, will arrive in the city on Monday night.

Venu Madhav, Srinivas's brother-in-law, had also studied in America and opted to work there for many years. Venu and his family had returned to India only last year.

“I was also in US for nearly four years, and came back to India recently. This was shocking as he never talked about the place being unsafe. He had called us on Wednesday morning, like any other day. Sunayana and my wife were talking to each other, and the next thing I hear is that he has been killed. It has been hard for the whole family to cope with the shock,” said Venu Madhav.

“When I was in America, we used to meet frequently there. I don’t know how will I react when I see his body,” said Madhav.

He too recalled that every other year, this would have been a time for celebration. “The family would have celebrated his birthday, instead it’s his body that will arrive in Hyderabad. The cremation will be performed tomorrow morning. We are waiting for his body to arrive,” said Venu Madhav.

“We will start from our house tomorrow around 11 30 in the morning and go to Kondapur for the cremation,” said Shashtri.

The body will arrive by an Air India flight after 9 pm.

Sunayana Dumala, the engineer’s wife, her brother and two other relatives are accompanying the body.

On Wednesday night, a US Navy veteran shot two Indian men at a crowded bar in Kansas. Srinivas was killed in the attack, while the other Indian named Alok Madasani is was injured.

Addressing the American media, Srinivas’ wife Sunayana Dumala said, "He did not deserve a death like this. In two weeks, he would've celebrated his 33rd birthday...I don't know what to say. We've read many times in newspapers of some kind of shooting happening everywhere and I was always concerned if we were doing the right thing by staying in the US."

"He always assured me that only good things happen to good people...He was just enjoying a glass of beer with his friends. This guy (suspect) started saying discriminatory things about his (Srinivas') race. He was still minding his own business," she added.

On Sunday, Telangana Minister for NRI Affairs KT Rama Rao visited Srinivas’s house in Bachupally in Hyderabad and consoled his family members. Srinivas' parents told KTR that while no government can bring back their son, all efforts should be made to prevent such incidents in the future so that other parents are saved from such agony.

According to reports, 51-year-old Adam Purinton who opened fire at Austin's Bar and Grill in Olathe has been booked for murder in the district court of Johnson County. The accused will face 50 years in jail under the ‘Hard 50’ law of Kansas.


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