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Alok Madasan, Indian victim who was wounded in Kansas bar shooting.[/caption]
Hundreds of people, holding placards that called for peace and unity, took part in a prayer vigil in Kansas City to celebrate the life of Indian techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla, tragically cut short by an American navy veteran in an apparent hate crime.
Marchers held pictures, banners and shouted, "We want peace"; "We love peace"; "Let us not leave our children"; "Unity is part of community, together we stand, divided we fall".
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Many of them carried candles and signs reading, "We don't support politics of hate."
The march for peace and prayer meeting was attended by friends of Srinivas. Alok Madasani, another Indian who was wounded in the shooting on Wednesday, was on his crutches.
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The sisters of the third man, an American identified as Ian Grillot, injured that night when he intervened during the argument with the shooter US Navy veteran Adam Purinton, and
Lieutenant Governor of Kansas Jeff Colyer, US Congressman Kevin Yoder, Olathe Mayor Mike Copeland, Olathe Police Chief Steven Menke, and other state officials also joined the prayer meet.
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The prayer was conducted by priests from various religions at the Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre, Kansas City. It opened with Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh prayers and ended with participants singing John Lennon's 'Imagine'.
Volunteers handed out candles as visitors stoically made their way into the temple.
Earlier addressing the gathering, Alok remembered his nine years of friendship with Srinivas. "Srini was the kindest person you would meet, full of love, care and compassion for everyone. He never uttered a word of hatred, a simple gossip, or a careless comment. He would always make sure everyone is doing fine and taken good care."
"The main reason why I am here is that's what my best friend, Srinivas, would have done. He would have been here for me," Alok said.
"It's hard to believe he is not with me, not with us anymore. What happened that night is something we all wish didn't happen, but it happened."
He recalled how Srinivas never complained about picking him up and driving him to work over a six-month period. "He waited till I bought a car. That's the kind of guy he was - is. I don't even want to use 'was' because we were friends for nine years and the memories are so fresh," Alok said.
He called the shooting "an isolated incident that doesn't reflect the true spirit of Kansas, the Midwest and the United States." "The United States of America, for us, has been one of selfless people, hardworking people."
Other friends who spoke there had similar words for Srinivas. They described him as a positive, warm, kind, caring, brilliant, well-mannered and an absolutely outstanding human being.