What is killing Indian-origin students in US

The deaths of 11 Indian and Indian-origin students in the US in 2024 have sparked safety fears. Reasons behind these deaths include gun crimes, kidnapping and possible hate crimes. A prominent diaspora body has done a study and is seeking preventive action from US authorities.
What is killing Indian-origin students in US
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Many Indian students dream of studying in the United States. It represents a chance to gain world-class education and career opportunities. However, there are factors that could turn the American Dream into a nightmare for Indian students. The spike in deaths of Indian and Indian-origin students in the US highlights these risks.

The body of an Indian-origin student, who was missing for a month, was found in Ohio on Tuesday (April 9). This takes the number of deaths of Indian and Indian-origin students in the US in 2024 to 11. And we are just in the fourth month of the year.

There is a desire among Indians for education abroad, especially in the US. This has also become a blessing for American universities.

Nowadays, Indian students are increasingly choosing to study at US universities, creating a boom for American Universities.

In the US, Indian-origin students are around 275,000 and make 25% of total foreign students and bringing in $9 billion per year in terms of fees and expenses, according to the Open Doors Report.


Recent deaths of Indian students in the US have raised safety concerns.

In a very recent case, Mohammad Abdul Arfath, a 25-year-old Indian-origin student, missing for a month, was found dead in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday.


Lakshmi Thalanki from Boston, who collected data on the deaths of more than 10 students, noted, “The sudden surge of deaths among Indian students is alarming and suspicious,” reported news agency PTI.

Since the sudden rise in suspicious deaths, rumours have been circulating around the Indian American community about potential hate crimes, especially as many deaths are clustered around East and Midwest universities, especially in Cleveland in Ohio, Illinois and Indiana.

Uma Satya Sai Gadde, an Indian student, died in Ohio's Cleveland in April. A police investigation into the death is underway.


The body of Paruchuri Abhijit, 20, was found in a car in a campus forest. It is believed that the attacker had attacked him for his money and laptop.

Two Indian students named Gattu Dinesh and Nikesh, both in their early twenties, were found dead at their home in Connecticut on January 14. They had arrived in the US on January 21 to pursue further studies. According to media accounts, their deaths were attributed to a gas leak.

Akul Dhawan, a 21-year-old Indian-American student, was found dead near the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on January 20. He was in his third year of studying computer engineering. The coroner's report from the autopsy indicated that he likely passed away due to hypothermia as the Night Club denied entry.

Another Indian-American student from Purdue University, Sameer Kamath, 25, was found dead in a nature preserve on February 5. He was pursuing a doctorate in mechanical engineering. He had completed his master's degree in the same field from Purdue University in August 2023.


A 23-year-old Indian student named Syed Mazahir Ali was attacked by four armed robbers close to his residence in Chicago on February 4. He sustained severe injuries and was admitted to the hospital. Ali was pursuing a degree in computer science at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Recently, in a meeting held in the US Capitol where Shri Thanedar spoke about the rising concern of Hinduphobia.

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What is killing Indian-origin students in US

In several cases, the reasons for the deaths of the Indian-origin students aren't clear. And the recent spate of tragedies involving Indian students in the US paints a concerning picture.

Source: India Today

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