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India says it reached out to its students in US after recent deaths

IANS | March 08, 2024 09:00 PM

NEW DELHI: India said on Friday that its consulates in the US have reached out to its nationals studying there and assured them of all possible cooperation and assistance in case of any trouble following the recent deaths of Indian students in the US.

The latest incident in a string of deaths of Indian students beginning this year came after Amarnath Ghosh, a dancer from Kolkata who was pursuing his PhD, was shot dead in the US state of Missouri last month.

"Through our consulates in the US, we have done outreach with our students there, guided them. We have also told them to immediately get in touch with either the embassy or the consulates in case of any trouble or situation so that we can take care of them in a better way, " Minister of External Affairs spokesperson, Randhir Jaiswal, said in a weekly media briefing on Friday.

Responding to a question on Ghosh, Jaiswal said that the police in Chicago have been investigating the case and the Indian consulate is in regular touch with the authorities there.

"Once the investigation is completed, we will know more about the case and what caused the death. Our consulates are extending all possible cooperation on this case to the authorities there, " Jaiswal said.

The Office of the Consulate General of India in Chicago said on March 2 that it is extending all possible help to relatives of Ghosh, who, according to his friend, was taking an evening stroll when he "was shot multiple times by an unknown person".

The consulate informed that it has strongly taken up the case with the St Louis police in Missouri.

The incident was brought to notice by popular TV actress Devoleena Bhattacharjee who in a post on 'X' sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar's help in the early repatriation of Ghosh's body.

More than five Indian and Indian-origin students have died in the US since the start of this year, highlighting the state of security and safety in the country.

Asserting that there is no excuse for violence based on race or gender, the White House said in February that the US is working very hard to thwart and disrupt attacks on Indians as well as Indian-origin students.

"There's no excuse for violence, certainly based on race or gender or religion or any other factor. That's just unacceptable here in the US, " John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House, said in a briefing.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has said that the welfare of Indian students abroad is one of the foremost priorities of the government.

Indian students constitute more than 25 per cent of the over one million foreign students studying in the US, according to a November 2023 Open Doors report.

The number of Indians who travelled to the US for higher education increased by 35 per cent and resulted in an all-time high of 2, 68, 923 students in the academic year 2022-23, the report said.

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