New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday expressed concern over the death of five Indian students in the US in two weeks, calling it a “tragic and unfortunate” situation. The MEA said that it is in touch with the US authorities and the families of the deceased students to provide all possible assistance.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said that two of the dead were Indian citizens, while three were American citizens of Indian origin. He said that the cases were not related to each other and that the investigations were underway.
Jaiswal said that the MEA was closely following the case of Vivek Saini, a 25-year-old student from Delhi who was brutally murdered in Lithonia, Georgia on January 29. He said that the culprit, identified as Darius Williams, had been arrested and charged with murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm. He said that the local authorities were probing the motive behind the killing and that the Indian Consulate in Atlanta was in contact with Saini’s family.
Jaiswal also said that the MEA was awaiting the medical report of Sameer Kamath, a 23-year-old student from Mumbai who was found dead in Warren County, Indiana on February 7. He said that the preliminary report indicated no foul play, but the cause of death was still unknown. He said that Kamath was a student at Purdue University and that the Indian Consulate in Chicago was coordinating with the university and the local police.
Jaiswal further said that the MEA was saddened by the deaths of three other Indian students in the US in the past two weeks. He said that Shreyas Reddy, a 22-year-old student of Linder School of Business, was found dead in Cincinnati, Ohio on February 4. He said that the cause of his death was also unclear and that the Indian Consulate in New York was in touch with his family.
He said that Neel Acharya, a 21-year-old student of Purdue University, was found dead on the campus on January 30. He said that the university had informed the Indian Consulate in Chicago about his death and that the consulate was providing consular services to his family.
He also said that Akul Dhawan, an 18-year-old Indian-American student, was found dead near the University of Illinois on January 20. He said that Dhawan was a resident of Naperville, Illinois, and that the Indian Consulate in Chicago was in contact with his parents.
Jaiswal expressed his condolences to the bereaved families and said that the MEA was doing everything possible to ensure their welfare and dignity. He also urged the Indian students in the US to be vigilant and careful about their safety and security.
On the other hand, Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy expressed concern about Syed Mazhar Ali, a 24-year-old student from Hyderabad who was attacked in Chicago, USA on February 6. He said that Ali was admitted to a hospital with serious injuries and that his condition was critical. He said that his government would set up a dedicated help desk for all youth, especially students, living in the US and other countries to ensure that all their needs are met. He also appealed to the US government to take strict action against the attackers and ensure the safety of Indian students.