New Delhi: In the wake of recent incidents involving the deaths of Indian students in the United States, US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti on Friday reassured that Washington is committed to make sure that United States remains a safe destination for Indian stidents.
Notably, five deaths of Indian students in the US have been reported this year, however, two were Indian nationals and the remaining three were of Indian origin.
Speaking on the unfortunate loss of Indian lives, Ambassador Garcetti said, "Our heart always is touched when any tragedy occurs, 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."
Highlighting the significant number of Indians studing in the US, Ambassador Garcetti underscored the collaborative responsibility of both nations to address such incidents. "We have more Indians studying in the US than any country in the world," he told ANI,
emphasising the need for cooperation between the US and Indian governments to ensure the safety and well-being of students.
Acknowledging that tragedies can occur, Ambassador Garcetti expressed the joint responsibility of both countries to work together and inform the public about the measures they can take. He extended condolences to the affected families, stating, "Our hearts go out to the families in any of these tragedies."
On Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) addressed the unfortunate deaths of five Indian students in the United States, emphasising that there was "no foul play or interconnectedness" in the incidents.
MEA spokesperson, Randhir Jaiswal, said, "There are five Indian students who have died that also includes students from the diaspora. These five deaths... Of these five deaths, two people are Indian nationals and the rest three are of Indian origin. They are US nationals."
The MEA spokesperson stated that in the case in which Vivek Saini was brutally killed with repeated blows from a hammer by a homeless man inside a store in Lithonia, Georgia, US on January 29.
"The culprit has been arrested and the local authorities are investigating the matter and taking it forward," Jaiswal said.
In another case at the University of Cincinnati, preliminary report suggests no foul play, although the medical report is awaited, the MEA spokesperson said.
"The second case of an Indian student in the University of Cincinnati. He passed away also. There is no foul play. This is what the preliminary report says. No foul play in that particular case as well. But we await the medical report," Jaiswal said.
Jaiswal emphasised the lack of interconnectedness among the incidents and highlighted the nationality of the deceased individuals. Additionally, he said, the MEA is actively engaged with local authorities, consulates, and missions to support the affected families.
"The other three deaths that have happened are those of people of Indian origin who are US nationals. We are in touch with local authorities there in the cases of Indian nationals. As also our consulate and our mission they are in touch with family members. They are also in touch with the students," the MEA spokesperson said.
While addressing concerns about the recent attack on a Hyderabad resident, Mazir Ali, in Chicago, Jaiswal stated that the Indian consulate in Chicago is in close contact with him and his family.
"The Indian consulate in Chicago is in touch with both the family as also Ali, he's a student there. We are trying to see how best to help him with medical aid. Also to ensure his wellbeing. I understand that the local police have registered a case and the consulate is there to provide all possible support," Jaiswal said.
Ali, a student, was attacked by four robbers, prompting his wife to seek an expedited emergency visa. The MEA is actively working to provide medical aid and support to Ali, who is now under the care of local authorities.
The MEA reiterated its commitment to assisting Indian nationals abroad and emphasised its ongoing efforts to coordinate with local authorities and ensure the well-being of affected individuals.
As investigations into these incidents continue, the MEA appealed to recognise that each case is independent, and there is no evidence of any interconnectedness among the tragic events involving Indian students and individuals of Indian origin in the United States.
"You will come to know more, when the time comes, but my request to you is that you must see that there is no interconnectedness in this, they are not related," the MEA said.