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‘No Excuse for Violence’: White House Reacts to Growing Attacks on Indians in US

In 2024 alone, seven students of both Indian and Indian American origin have died

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Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the United States National Security Council John Kirby said that the White House has emphasised President Joe Biden's strong commitment to thwarting and disrupting the growing attacks on Indian and Indian American students.

"There is no excuse for violence, certainly based on race or gender or religion or any other factor. That's just unacceptable here in the United States," Kirby asserted, addressing concerns about recent attacks.

He reiterated the administration's dedication to collaborating with state and local authorities to prevent such incidents and ensure accountability for perpetrators.

Recent incidents, including the deaths of several Indian American students, have sparked calls for enhanced safety measures.

The White House statement comes a few days after the US Ambassador to India said the Biden administration is "very committed" and affirmed that for Indians, the US is a "wonderful and safe" place to pursue higher studies.

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He said that “our heart always is touched" by such tragedies, referring to the numerous incidents of deaths and attacks on Indian students this year and added that the US has the highest number of Indian students of any nation in the world.

“Our heart is always touched when any tragedy, whether it is a life taken by somebody or any violence - no matter who they are. We are very committed to making sure that Indians know that the United States is a wonderful place to study and to be safe. We have more Indians studying in the US than any country in the world,” Garcetti told news agency ANI.

"We know tragedies will happen, it's our responsibility to make sure that we work together with the Indian government and that people know what they can do. Our hearts go out to the families in any of these tragedies," he added.

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Increasing Incidents

On 28 January, the body of 19-year-old Neel Acharya was discovered on Purdue University's campus. Acharya had been reported missing after a night out and was found deceased the following morning. Coroners have yet to determine the cause of death, noting no signs of trauma.

Just over a week later, on 5 February, Purdue graduate student 23-year-old Sameer Kamath was found deceased in nearby woods with a gunshot wound to the head. Medical examiners ruled his death as suicide.

These incidents occurred following a high-profile case in October 2022 when 20-year-old Varun Manish Chheda was fatally stabbed by his roommate at Purdue, according to police reports.

The series of tragedies began on 15 January when the bodies of two Indian-origin students at Sacred Hearts University were discovered in their residence in Hartford, Connecticut. Authorities determined 22-year-old Dinesh Gattu and 21-year-old Sai Rakoti accidentally overdosed on fentanyl.

The following day, on 16 January, 25-year-old Indian graduate student Vivek Saini was allegedly beaten to death at the store where he worked in Lithonia, Georgia. The Indian Consulate announced involvement in the case and efforts to repatriate Saini's body to India.

On 6 February, a video surfaced on social media where an Indian student from Hyderabad, Syed Mazahir Ali, was allegedly attacked by four robbers, who also snatched his phone in the United States’ Chicago on Sunday, 4 February.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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