Indian Student Shot At in Chicago Parking Lot
Mohammad Akbar, a student hailing from Hyderabad, is undergoing treatment after suffering injuries on his face.
An Indian man was shot at in Chicago in the United States by an unidentified assailant after an argument in a parking lot. Mohammad Akbar, a 30-year-old student hailing from Hyderabad, was shot in his right cheek on Dec. 6.
Akbar’s condition is said to be serious and his father has sought help from Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj to travel to the United States on an emergency visa, the Hindustan Times reported. Akbar was living in Chicago for the past three years. He was attacked at the Albany Park neighborhood, which is around 4 km from his Whipple Street apartment.
Akbar was pursuing a postgraduate degree in computer systems networking and telecommunications from DeVry University in Chicago. He is now undergoing treatment at Illinois Masonic Medical Center for a bullet wound.
His elder brothers, Shafi and Ashraf, told the media that his jaw needed two surgeries. “We are yet to know more. We have applied for an emergency visa to go to the US,” Shafi said, reported HT.
“We are in a state of shock. My father has gone into depression after the incident,” said Ashraf, the Times of India reported. “He spoke to me two days before the incident and inquired about our well-being. We are at a loss to understand who would have targeted my brother and why. We are also unsure about how many bullet injuries he suffered,” added Ashraf.
Akbar’s friends told the family that a man fired at him after an argument. After hearing the gunshot, residents and passersby rushed to help Akbar and took him to a hospital.
The Chicago police said that they are not treating the attack as an incident of hate crime. No arrests have been made yet.
Concerns about the rise in the number of attacks on Indians and Americans of Indian descent who are sometimes mistaken for West Asians have been growing in the country. In 2016, 307 cases of hate crimes were recorded against Muslims, a group that has been targeted by President Donald Trump in his policies and speeches. According to recent reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the number shot up from 257 in 2015 and 154 in 2014.
In November this year, Akash Talati, an Indian club owner, was shot dead in an exchange of fire between the assailant and the security guard of the club in North Carolina. Earlier this year, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an Indian engineer from Hyderabad, was shot dead in Kansas by a man yelling “get out of my country.” Earlier this month, Adam Purinton, accused for the hate crime, pleaded not guilty and his next hearing is scheduled on May 8.