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Trump condemns Kansas shooting, says U.S. condemns hate in all its ugly forms

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US President Donald Trump speaks to members of the National Governors Association and his administration in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 27, 2017. AFP PHOTOS

WASHINGTON: America stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms, US President Donald Trump said as he broke his silence on the fatal Kansas shooting in which an Indian techie was killed.

“Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be anation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms,” Trump said in his address to the joint session of US Congress.

By mentioning Kansas, Trump in his maiden address to the US Congress, heeded to the call being made by a host of Indian-American organisations and lawmakers to publicly condemn the fatal Kansas shooting which is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a hate crime.

“I’ve been clear that the President must use this amazing platform to condemn this hateful act in no uncertain terms and send a powerful message that no American should be fearful in their own community.

“Diverse political and religious views are what make our country great, and I look forward to him utilising this opportunity tonight,” Republican Congressman from Kansas Kevin Yoder had urged Trump earlier.

“…I’ve been in contact with the White House regarding the senseless tragedy last week in Olathe that claimed the life of Srinivas Kuchibhotla and injured Alok Madasani and Ian Grill,” Yoder said.

Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and Madasani, another Indian of the same age, was injured in the shooting by navy veteran Adam Purinton, who yelled “terrorist” and “get out of my country” before opening fire on them.

A 24-year-old American named Ian Grillot who tried to defend the Indians also received injuries in the firing that took place last Wednesday.

Purinton, 51, apparently mistook the Indians for immigrants from the Middle East.

The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) also urged Trump to speak on the issue.

“It is our hope President Trump uses the opportunity he has when speaking to the special joint session of Congress later today to address the rising levels of hate violence in our nation,” Jay Kansara of HAF said.