An Indian woman and her seven-year-old son have been found dead in their home in New Jersey, IANS reported on Friday. N Sasikala was a software professional who had been living in the United States with her husband for the past nine years.
Sasikala’s husband Hanumantha Rao said he found their bodies when he returned home from work on Thursday evening. Andhra Pradesh MLA Y Samnasiva Rao said the mother, who was originally from his state, and her son were strangulated. He said he had spoken over the phone to representatives of the Telugu Association of North America, to which the family belonged.
The woman’s mother, however, told ANI that her family in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, suspect that the two had been murdered because of an affair her son-in-law had with another woman.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu offered condolences to the family. However, no other details have emerged on their deaths.
In recent weeks, there have been four attacks on Indians in the US. Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot dead at a Kansas City bar on February 23 by a Navy veteran, Adam Puriton. Eyewitnesses at Austins Bar and Grill had heard Puriton shout “Get out of my country” before he started shooting at the men, whom he had believed were Arabs.
Another store owner in South California was found dead outside his residence on March 2. On March 3, a gunman shot a Sikh American in Washington, after telling him to “go back” to his own country. On March 12, a Florida man set a store own by a person of Indian origin on fire.
Earlier this week, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said that the recent attacks on Indians in the US were certainly “hate crimes”. “We do not treat these incidents as a matter of law and order. It is not as simple as that. From our side, we say that these are 100% incidents of hate crimes,” Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha on Monday.