Why has Telangana woman’s death in US angered Indians 9 months after?

| Updated: 14 September, 2023 4:35 pm IST
Jaahnavi Kandula, a native of Telangana, was killed after being struck by a speeding police patrol vehicle in Seattle on January 23.

NEW DELHI: The tragic killing of a 23-year-old Indian woman student in the United States has sparked outrage and calls for justice back home after nine months. Jaahnavi Kandula, a native of Telangana, was killed after being struck by a speeding police patrol vehicle in Seattle on January 23. She was pursuing a Master of Science in Information Systems at Northeastern University’s Seattle campus as part of a student exchange program.

The incident occurred when she was crossing a road. Reports indicate that the patrol car was traveling at approximately 74 mph (119 kph). The impact of the hit was so intense that it threw her body more than 100 feet away.

In a viral video clip, police officer Daniel Auderer can be heard joking and telling the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG) president Mike Solan that “she was of no real values”.

 

“She is dead….(laughed)…just write a cheque for $11,000…She was 26 anyway…She had limited value.”

 

These remarks have incited outrage and demands for accountability.

 

The Consulate General of India in San Francisco issued a statement expressing deep concern over the handling of Jaahnavi Kandula’s death and called for a thorough investigation and action against those involved. India has urged the US to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the bodycam footage.

 

“Recent reports including in the media of the handling of Ms. Jaahnavi Kandula’s death in a road accident in Seattle in January are deeply troubling. We have taken up the matter strongly with local authorities in Seattle & Washington State as well as senior officials in Washington DC for a thorough investigation & action against those involved in this tragic case.” The official handle of the Consulate General of India in San Francisco wrote on the social media site X.

The Biden administration has also assured the Indian government of a swift investigation into Jaahnavi’s death. India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, raised the issue at the highest level in Washington, seeking prompt action.

Meanwhile, Telangana IT Minister KTR took to social media site X to express his deep dismay, and he wrote:

“Deeply disturbed & extremely saddened by the utterly reprehensible and callous comments of a police officer of the SPD I request the @USAmbIndia to take up the matter with US Government authorities and deliver justice to the family of young Jaahnavi Kandula,” he wrote.

“I request EA Minister @DrSJaishankar Ji to take up the matter with his counterpart and demand an independent investigation into the matter. Tragically, the life of a youngster with soaring ambitions has been cut short, but what’s more tragic & shocking is that a limited monetary value has been ascribed to her life!”

 

 

In the wake of these disturbing revelations, the hashtag #JusticeForJaahnavi has gained traction on social media platforms, with people demanding accountability for the tragic incident. Netizens have called for action against Daniel Auderer and have emphasized the need for justice for Jaahnavi Kandula.

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