String of attacks on Indian students in US continues, yet another found dead


PTI, Feb 7, 2024, 2:21 PM IST

In a series of disturbing incidents, an Indian doctoral candidate was found dead at Purdue University in Indiana while another Indian IT student was brutally attacked near his house in Chicago.

The back-to-back incidents since Sunday were the sixth in the US in 2024 alone.

According to The Purdue Exponent, a news agency independent of the university, Sameer Kamath, 23, a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering, was found dead in Warren County on Monday, the mechanical engineering head Eckhard Groll announced on Tuesday.

Kamath’s body was found at a nature preserve at Crow’s Grove, the agency said, quoting a press release from Justin Brummett, the Warren County Coroner.

After his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Kamath had come to Purdue in the summer of 2021, Groll said in his email. He was slated to graduate from the doctoral programme in 2025.

In another incident, Indian IT student Syed Mazahir Ali was chased and brutally attacked by unidentified men near his house in the US city of Chicago on Sunday, February 4.

There were videos posted on social media and in one video posted on X, Ali can be seen with a bloodied nose and face and blood stains on his clothes as he describes his ordeal.

Ali, who moved to the US from Hyderabad about six months ago, told ABC7 Eyewitness News that one of the attackers pointed a gun at him.

Video surveillance shows Ali walking to his home at night with a packet in his hand when the three men chase him when he was punched by the men in the eye and hit on the face, ribs and back. The ABC7 report said he was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for several cuts and bruises.

Ali is pursuing Masters in information technology from Indiana Wesleyan University.

“America has been my dream country and I came here to fulfil my dreams and pursue my Masters. The incident gave me trauma,” he told the channel.

The report said that the police do not have any suspect in custody and the investigation is ongoing.

The Consulate General of India in Chicago said on X that the “Consulate is in touch with Syed Mazahir Ali and his wife in India Syeda Ruquiya Fatima Razvi and assured all possible assistance. The consulate has also contacted the local authorities who are investigating the case.” Ali’s wife Ruqiya Fatima reached out to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, requesting assistance to travel to the US along with three minor children.

Last week, 19-year-old Shreyas Reddy Beniger, a student at the Lindner School of Business in Ohio State was found dead. However, local authorities have ruled out foul play.

Another Indian student, identified as Neel Acharya at Purdue University, Indiana, was confirmed dead days after being reported missing on January 28.

The incident comes just days after 25-year-old Indian student Vivek Saini, who had recently earned an MBA degree in the US, was hammered to death by a homeless drug addict in Georgia state’s Lithonia city on January 16.

The horrifying incident was caught on camera when assailant Julian Faulkner, a homeless man, mercilessly struck Saini nearly 50 times on the head with a hammer.

Akul B Dhawan, an 18-year-old at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, was found dead last month with signs of hypothermia.

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