Barely couple weeks after an Indian engineer became a victim of hate crime in Kansas in the United States, another NRI businessman of Gujarati origin has been fired deadly in Lancaster in South Carolina, US. Harnish Patel, who operated Speedee Mart in Lancaster had locked his shop on Thursday & was near to his home when an unidentified assailant began to fire at him, shooting him on the spot. Harnish, 43, who formerly hails from Avakhal village in Sinor taluka of Vadodara district had been residing in the United States with his family for over fourteen years.
Patel’s assassination comes just 2 days after United States President Trump condemned the crime of Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla in Kansas City. According to news, officials of Lancaster police tell that they are yet to determine a motive behind Harnish’s assassination, which seems to be ‘racially motivated.’
Harnish owned the convenience store Speedee Mart in Lancaster is persisted by wife Sonal & son Siddhansh.
According to Patel’s elongated family in Avakhal, Harnish’s parents–father Jayanti & mother Tara–had gone along with the couple to the United States in 2003. A member of the village told, “The last time they came here was a few years ago for a wedding in the family. We were not much in touch with them.”
Harnish’s maternal uncle Ramesh, who survives in Avakhal told he was “too shocked to speak about the tragic loss in the family.” Ramesh told that the family was in constant touch with Harnish’s father, Jayanti. Since Harnish & Sonal’s parents had moved to the United States many years ago to live with the couple, the family has chosen to perform his last rites in the United States, Ramesh combined.
Putting the issue of the killings of Indians in the United States, GPCC President Bharat Solanki has addressed to Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, bringing her awareness to the matter. Solanki told, “It has shocked me beyond measure as the Gujarati business community has always been part and parcel of the American life with absolutely no conflicts and plenty of mutually shared interests. This kind of incidents shakes the foundation of confidence that the Indian community is used to. I urge the Prime Minister of India and you to take up this issue with the administration of President Trump and promise to ensure the safety and security of Indians and Gujarati diaspora in the US.”