Odisha News Insight

US, Alabama Guv regret over Sureshbhai Patel Issue

Sureshbhai Patel issueThe US has “respectfully acknowledged” India’s concern and protests over Madison police using excessive force on Indian national Sureshbhai Patel Feb 6. Responding to Indian consul general in Atlanta Ajit Kumar’s protest against the incident, Alabama governor Robert Bentley said Tuesday he deeply regretted the incident.

“I deeply regret the unfortunate use of excessive force by the Madison police department on Sureshbhai Patel and for the injuries sustained by him. I sincerely hope that Patel continues to improve and that he will regain the full use of his legs,” he wrote in a letter to Ajit Kumar. Bentley also instructed to the director of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to commence a parallel investigation to the one being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“I will see that justice is done…,” he said. Ajit Kumar had visited Patel in Huntsville Hospital Feb 14 and enquired about his well-being. On Feb 16, the Indian official had conveyed “deep concern” over the issue of force being used on a senior Indian national Sureshbhai Patel, who had arrived in Madison to help his son and daughter-in-law take care of their 17-month-old child.

In an unusual gesture, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley issued a public apology for the attack by police on an Indian man that left him partially paralysed. “Please accept our sincere apology for this tragic incident to your government, (Sureshbhai) Patel and the citizens of India who live and work in this state,” the Republican governor wrote in a letter to Ajit Kumar, the Indian consul general in Atlanta. The letter was publicised by Bentley’s office Tuesday.

The attack on 57-year-old Patel, who was visiting his son in Madison, was captured on a video camera on a police vehicle. Officer Eric Parker, who responded to a neighbour’s complaint that a “skinny black guy” was loitering around, is seen slamming him to the ground after Patel, who does not speak English, could not answer his questions. Patel is partially paralysed after the attack. (IANS)

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