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Congressman Jim Costa

Representing the 16th District of California

Costa Statement on Recent Hate Crimes Against Indian Americans

Mar 7, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement strongly condemning the recent hate crimes against Indian Americans. On February 22, Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot and killed and Alok Madasani was wounded by Adam Purinton in a bar in Kansas. This past Friday, on March 3, in Seattle, Washington Deep Rai was shot in his own driveway.

“We, as Americans, should never forget that our country was founded in part on the principle of religious freedom. Our constitution protects the freedom of religion.”

“The recent hate crimes against Indian Americans in Washington and Kansas cannot and will not be tolerated. Attacks on the Indian community are rooted in hatred, bigotry, and a complete lack of understanding of the faith and culture. As a nation of immigrants, we must treat every American citizen with the same level of respect and acceptance into our communities. Hate crimes, especially those that are based on intolerance for a certain race, creed or gender, have no place in our country.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and all the Indian communities across the country. Justice must be served, and I commend the agencies that are working together to prosecute the individuals who are responsible for the horrific and hateful attacks.

“The Central Valley is home to millions of individuals with different backgrounds, faiths, ethnicities, and cultures,  and I urge Valley residents to get know their neighbors, work colleagues, or store clerks - someone who looks, talks, dresses, or prays differently. Continued ignorance is only going to fuel hate. We must get to know one another, appreciate our differences, and remind ourselves that what unites us as Americans is far stronger than what divides us.”