- Associated Press - Thursday, March 9, 2017

HYDERABAD, India (AP) - Dozens of people held a candlelight vigil in southern India on Thursday to mark the birthday of an Indian engineer shot dead last month in Kansas in an attack the FBI is investigating as a possible hate crime.

In addition to marking Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s 33rd birthday, the people in technology hub Hyderabad also protested what they say is a rising wave of hate crimes in America.

According to witnesses, the gunman yelled “Get out of my country” at Kuchibhotla and his colleague Alok Madasani before opening fire at a bar in Olathe, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City.

Madasani and another bar patron were wounded.

Adam Purinton of Olathe was arrested at another bar after telling a bartender he shot two people he described as Iranian. He remains jailed on murder and attempted murder charges.

The participants in Hyderabad included the family of Kuchibhotla. The marchers held candles as well as posters decrying attacks on Indians in the United States in recent days.

The placards had slogans such as “Wake up India” and “Stop Racism, Stop Hate Crime.”

Last week a Sikh man was shot at by an unidentified man as he worked on his car in the city of Kent, a suburb of Seattle.

“This gathering is a reflection of the growing concern and disquiet among Indians over the safety and security of their people in the United States,” said M. Rajkumar, who heads an organization of parents who have children living and working outside India.

Rajkumar said he blames U.S. President Donald Trump’s speeches for the increasing attacks against Indians in America.

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