March 11, 2017

White House, State Department Reacts While Kansas Governor Writes to Modi


Tejinder Singh
Mark Toner 2017

US State Department Acting Spokesperson Mark Toner

Washington, DC – The White House is looking forward to building a deeper relationship with India according to the spokesperson at the daily briefing on Thursday.’

Answering a question, Sean Spicer, the White House spokesperson said, “I think he (President Donald Trump) has talked about during the campaign and the transition establishing a deeper relationship with (Indian) Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and US – India and businesses,” adding, “He (President Trump) spoke very clearly and frequently about the relationship that we have and hope to continue to grow with India.”

Spicer promised to update further saying, “And I think as we move forward in terms of our foreign policy, we’ll have further updates on that.”

Condemning the killing of a 32-year-old Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla and another injured in an alleged hate crime in Kansas, Spicer said, “I think we’ve got to continue to call it out, we’ve got to continue to root it out, we’ve got to continue to engage law enforcement, whatever is the applicable level of law enforcement depending on the event.”

Using strong words Spicer felt, “all Americans should be outraged and disgusted by — and stand up for the principles that unite us,” noting, “that’s what the President spoke so eloquently about during his joint address, and made it very clear that while certain policies may divide us as individuals, there are certain principles that can unite us.”

Earlier State Department acting spokesperson Mark Toner told journalists, “Secretary Tillerson has made clear to his counterparts our condolences over these killings. They are, it’s important to note, still under investigation by local law enforcement and we’re waiting to see the results of those investigations.”

Noting not to comment on the ongoing investigation on “the motivation behind these killings,” Toner added, “We share in the sorrow of the families and loved ones of these victims.”

In a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback also expressed “profound regret” at the terrible act of violence against the Indian nationals last month and said that acts of hate and intolerance have no place in his state.

“As Governor of the State of Kansas, I would like to express my deep sadness and profound regret at the terrible act of violence committed against Srinu Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani. The people of Kansas share in my shock and horror. Words cannot express the sorrow that we feel for Srinu’s wife, Sunayana, and his family in Hyderabad,” Brownback wrote.

The Kansas incident and the two hate crime incidents against Indians and Indian-Americans since then has sent shock waves among the large Indian community in the US.