Indian diaspora urges action on student deaths in US

| Updated: 10 April, 2024 2:08 pm IST

NEW DELHI: In a significant move, a leading diaspora organization has urged the US government, universities, and student organizations to address the alarming increase in deaths among Indian-origin students in the United States.

The organization expressed deep concern over the recent spike in fatalities and called for immediate action to ensure the safety and well-being of Indian students studying in the US. The appeal comes in the wake of several reported incidents involving Indian-origin students across various US universities.

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The diaspora body emphasized the need for comprehensive measures, including improved campus safety protocols, mental health support, and robust mechanisms for reporting and addressing incidents of concern. It also highlighted the importance of fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for international students.

There have been several incidents involving Indian-origin students in the US that have prompted this appeal and raised concerns. Here are a few examples:

Mohammad Abdul Arfath: A 25-year-old Indian student, pursuing a Master’s in IT at Cleveland University, was found dead in Cleveland, Ohio1.

G Dinesh and Nikesh: These two students, aged 22 and 21 respectively, from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, were found dead in their Connecticut accommodation. The causes of their deaths remain unknown.

Vivek Saini: A 25-year-old Indian student was brutally killed with repeated blows from a hammer by a homeless man inside a store in Lithonia, Georgia.

Akul Dhawan: An 18-year-old Indian-American student was found dead with signs of hypothermia on the back porch of a building near the University of Illinois.

Neel Acharya and Sameer Kamath: Both were students at Purdue University in Indiana State. Neel went missing and was later found dead. Sameer was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a nature preserve in Williamsport.

The causes of these incidents range from suspicious shootings or kidnappings to environmental deaths from ignorance of safety precautions (such as hypothermia or carbon monoxide poisoning), and mental health problems leading to suicides.

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The organization has reached out to US universities and student organizations, urging them to take proactive steps in creating awareness about the challenges faced by Indian students and to provide necessary resources and support.

The appeal to the US government underscored the need for policy interventions and collaborative efforts with Indian authorities to address this issue. The organization stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation in ensuring the safety of Indian students abroad.

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