Washington– Achutha Reddy, an Indian psychiatrist who was killed in Kansas, was mourned by his colleagues, patients and community members who remembered him as a man of compassion.
Hailing from Telangana, Reddy, 57, was murdered in his clinic in East Wichita, on Wednesday night.
The police has arrested a 21-year-old man identified as Umar Rashid Dutt, as a suspect in the killing. Dutt was a patient of Reddy’s.
In a touching tribute on Thursday, patient Cecilia Smith credited him with saving her life.
Cecilia Smith told KWCH TV: “I tried killing myself, and if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have been here today.
Donna Lloyd and her husband who were Reddy’s patients for nearly 20 years, said: “He was the kindest, sweetest most loving, caring doctor you would ever want to talk to.”
Reddy, who introduced yoga in his treatment, opened his Holistic Psychiatric Services in 2003 after practicing in Wichita for over two decades.
In a statement, Reddy’s family said it “wants to thank each and every one that made his life a joy every day”.
The society “is heartbroken over the loss of doctor Reddy”, the Wichita Eagle daily quoted Denis Knight, president of the Medical Society of Sedgwick County, as saying
“Doctor Reddy was an amazing, compassionate man that was kind and loving to anyone he met. He had a gift of knowing what each and everyone of us needed and gave it freely,” Brenda Trammel, a psychotherapist at his clinic, told the daily.
April Marie Schlenker from Kansas State University said: “Doctor Reddy was so unique to any one else I have ever met in the therapy/psychiatric world. He connected almost instantly with people. His eyes held wisdom and secrets and joy.”
While some posters demanded hanging of the killer or giving strong punishments, a medical professional, Pedro Murati, said: “In these sad times we must remember what Achutha would have wanted after such a horror.”
“Projecting anger towards the mentally ill would be the last thing on his mind.”
Reddy is the second Indian killed this year in Kansas. Telangana resident Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot dead in Olathe in February.
Kuchibotla’s murder has been denounced as a white racist hate crime.