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Days after Kansas shooting, Harnish Patel killed outside of his South Carolina home

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A growing memorial outside Speedee Mart, a store run by Harnish Patel in Lancaster County, South Carolina; Patel was shot dead on the lawn of his residence on Thursday.

Lancaster, SC (Diya TV) — A 43-year-old convenience store owner originally from India was shot and killed outside his home, just days after the Kansas triple-shooting that left Srinivas Kuchibhotla dead, which the FBI is currently investigating as a hate crime.

Harnish Patel, owner of a business in Lancaster, S.C., was found dead in the front yard of his home with apparent gunshot wounds Thursday, coroner and police officials said.

After closing his Speedee Mart store, he drove home to be confronted by his would-be killer, police said. He had closed his store less than 10 minutes before his death, they added. He was found in his front yard just a few minutes before midnight, according to a statement from the Lancaster County coroner’s office.

Lancaster Police said they received calls around 11:30 pm from residents reporting screaming and gunshots coming from Patel’s home. Sheriff Barry Faile said early investigations do not indicate Patel was targeted for his Indian ethnicity, and the matter is not currently being investigated as a hate crime.

“I don’t have any reason to believe that this was racially motivated,” Faile said.

Friends and customers were in shock and were visiting Patel’s home to offer condolences to his family. “Who would do anything like this to him, as good as he is to everybody,” Nicole Jones, a frequent customer at Patel’s store, told WBTV.

Jones and other friends said Patel was not always worried about the bottom line of his business. “If you didn’t have the money, he’d let people have food,” Jones said.

Patel’s death comes close on the heels of the shooting in Kansas of a 32-year-old Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was killed when 51-year-old US Navy veteran Adam Purinton opened fire at him and his friend Alok Madasani at a bar before yelling “get out of my country.” The shooting last month had sent shockwaves across the Indian-American community with people expressing concerns over their safety in an enviornment of xenophobic and racist rhetoric in the country.

President Donald Trump had condemned the Kansas shooting. He had said America stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.

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India hits 1 billion vaccine dose milestone

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India hits 1 billion vaccine dose milestone | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India reached a major milestone in its war against the pandemic with the total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses, crossing the billion-mark. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited a hospital in Delhi to mark the milestone, and described it “as the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit” of the 1.3 billion people in the country.

The White House named 19 young emerging leaders to its fellows program and three are Indian Americans. Joy Basu and Sunny Patel are from California and Aakash Shah is from New Jersey. The prestigious White House Fellowship program embeds professionals from diverse backgrounds for a year of working as a full-time, paid fellow for White House staff, cabinet secretaries and other senior government officials.

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was mobbed by fans as he visited his son Aryan in a Mumbai Jail. Aryan has been in custody for nearly three weeks after being arrested during an illegal drug bust.
Khan waved at fans and a video of the whole incident has gone viral on the internet.

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Biden to nominate Ravi Chaudry to Air Force post

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Biden to nominate Ravi Chaudry to Air Force post | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — President Joe Biden plans to nominate Indian American Ravi Chaudry as the Air Force’s next assistant secretary for installations, environment, and energy. Chaudry is a former Federal Aviation Administration official who served in the Air Force for more than 20 years. If confirmed he would take over a massive portfolio spanning Air Force and Space Force installations worldwide. 

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation announced the appointment of its new Chairwoman, Sonu Ratra, the co-founder and President of IT consulting and talent solutions provider, Akraya as well as the founder of Women Back to Work. Ratra is the first woman and person of color to lead the SVLG Foundation.

Indian American women techies,  Susmita Dutta and Shruti Haldea,  took center stage as Apple unveiled its next line-up of products, including MacBook Pro, next-generation AirPods, and other products and services. 

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Calgary and Edmonton elect mayors of Indian descent | Diya TV News

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Calgary & Edmonton elect mayors of Indian descent | Diya TV News

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — In a historic first, the new Mayors of Calgary and Edmonton, Canada are of Indian descent. Jyoti Gondak and Amarajeet Sohi will be leading their respective cities. Gondek is also Calgary’s first ever female Mayor. In both elections, voters expressed a desire for change, and largely rejected candidates opposed to public health measures to deal with COVID-19.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren wants Amazon to break up after a Reuters report found that the e-commerce giant ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoffs and manipulating search results to boost its own private brands in India, one of the company’s largest growth markets.

In tech news MindBody is acquiring fitness company ClassPass, which allows users to pay for a monthly subscription, allowing them to access a number of classes across a spectrum of fitness genres. The company was founded by Indian American Payal Kadakia.

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