Widow of man killed in Olathe hate crime featured in new documentary

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 10:40 PM CST
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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (KCTV) – Sunayana Dumala is familiar with cameras. Six years ago, she was flanked by them as she spoke haltingly about her husband, the love of her life, who had been shot and killed by a man who, minutes earlier, yelled, “Get out of my country!”

Her tone is different now. She speaks with a louder voice. And, she’s speaking about how immigration policy turned bad into worse for her.

Filmmaker Vidyut Latay included Dumala in her latest documentary “Alien.” It will make its debut Thursday night at the Glenwood Arts Theatre.

The film follows the family lives of those working in fields like science and engineering who are navigating the seemingly impossible process for getting a green card. It questions whether the way they are allocated is fair. It challenges often heard remarks like, “They’re taking our jobs.”

“All immigrants get an A number,” Dumala explained the day before the premiere. “And the A stands for alien. So, that is where we are being alienated already.”

Dumala is featured along with four others. She’s pretty sure she was featured in the film to show the worst.

It was 2017. Her husband, Srinivas “Srinu” Kuchibhotla, was at a neighborhood bar with a coworker, also a man from India. They were engineers for Garmin. Adam Purinton shot Kuchibhotla and his coworker, Alok Madasani. Another bar patron who tried to intervene was hit as well.

“Srinu was the love of my life,” Dumala said.

When she lost him, she also lost her legal right to stay in the United States because she was a dependent on his work visa. The more she thought about it, the more was determined to stay, because of what his killer said.

“That he said, ‘Get out of my country!’ I think those words just stuck in my head so deep inside. I was like, ‘No. I mean, I can’t leave this country ever. Like, if I leave now then I’m letting that man win. And, I can’t let that man win,’” she declared.

She went to India to return Srinu’s body to his family. She was able return to Olathe only because the FBI, which was investigating the federal hate crime, got her a humanitarian visa.

She’s since left Olathe for Orlando to start over.

“I’ve gained a new voice for myself,” she said. “I’ve found a new passion.”

The film’s premiere is timed to coincide with Srinu’s birthday. He would have been 39.

“That is more important than a day he was taken away from us,” she emphasized. “And, I’m hoping he’ll give us his blessings. He will be with us tomorrow. I know the weather is supposed to be cloudy and rainy, but I hope it can shine on us.”

The premiere will be on Thursday, March 9, at the Glenwood Arts Theatre. It is located at 3707 Mission Road in Leawood, Kansas.

Check-in begins at 5:30 p.m. The film will screen at 6:15 p.m. A panel discussion will follow.

The event is free, but registration is encouraged. You can register here.