The safety and security of Indian nationals and Persons of Indian Origin in the US was its top most priority, the government said today. Replying to clarifications while making a statement on the recent incidents of attack on members of Indian diaspora in the US in the Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said strategic partnership would not come in the way of raising issues of safety and security of Indians with the US government. She said the government was not taking up the incidents as law and order situation but as hate crimes. Earlier, in a statement in the Upper House, Ms Swaraj said the government had taken up the issues with the US government at very high levels and has called for necessary measures to ensure safety and security of Indian diaspora and expeditious investigation into these incidents. Ms Swaraj said, on February 22, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an engineer was shot dead by a US national in Kansas City, while another Indian Alok Madasani and an American Ian Grillot were injured when they tried to stop the shooting. The FBI has taken over the case and was investigating the same as a case of hate crime, she said. On March 2, Harnish Patel, owner of a convenience store was shot dead near his house by unknown individuals in Lancaster. The police had said the incident was a case of robbery gone wrong. But investigation was underway to identify the culprits and confirm if it was racially motivated crime, the Minister said. UNI
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