US Shooting: Killing of Indian businessman in Lancaster County may not be hate crime, says County Sheriff

By: | Updated: March 5, 2017 10:59 PM

Lancaster county authorities in the US have suggested that the killing of a 43-year-old Indian-origin store owner there may not be a hate crime.

The County Sheriff has pointed out that this may not be a hate crime, sources said. (Reuters)

Lancaster county authorities in the US have suggested that the killing of a 43-year-old Indian-origin store owner there may not be a hate crime. Harnish Patel, 43, the owner of a convenience store in Lancaster County, South Carolina, was found dead of gunshot wounds in the front yard of his home on Thursday. The County Sheriff has pointed out that this may not be a hate crime, sources said. “Local authorities are investigating. We will remain in touch with them,” they said.

“Consulate General of India, Atlanta, is in touch with the family. It is deputing a consular official to meet the family and offer condolences and any required assistance. It is also in touch with the local community organisation of expat Indians, including those from Gujarat,” they added. In New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, “I am pained to hear about the killing of Harnish Patel, a US national of Indian-origin in Lancaster, South Carolina. Our Consul has reached Lancaster and met the family of Harnish Patel.”

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She said the investigation in the case was in progress. Swaraj also offered her condolences to the bereaved family. There have been a series of attacks on Indian-Americans in the US in recent weeks. A 39-year-old Sikh man was shot outside his home on Friday by a partially-masked gunman who shouted “go back to your own country”. Last month, 32-year-old Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed when 51-year-old US Navy veteran Adam Purinton opened fire at him and his friend Alok Madasani, yelling “get out of my country”.

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