In shocking turn of events, yet another Indian-origin student was found dead in the United States on Thursday, marking the fourth such incident this year and the third in less than a week. Identified as 19-year-old Shreyas Reddy Beniger, the student was enrolled at the Linder School of Business in Ohio. Beniger held an American passport although his parents live in Hyderabad.
Authorities, however, have ruled out any indication of foul play or a potential hate crime in this case. The Indian Mission in New York has expressed deep sorrow and confirmed an ongoing investigation to ascertain the cause of Beniger's untimely death.
The Consulate of India in New York, in a statement posted on X (formerly known as Twitter), shared their grief over the incident. "Deeply saddened by the unfortunate demise of Mr. Shreyas Reddy Benigeri, a student of Indian origin in Ohio. Police investigation is underway. At this stage, foul play is not suspected," the statement read.
This unfortunate event follows a series of similar tragedies involving Indian students in the United States. Earlier this week, Neel Acharya, a student at Purdue University, was found dead, hours after being reported missing by his mother. His body was found on the university campus shortly after he was last seen by an Uber driver.
In another distressing incident, Vivek Saini, a native of Haryana's Panchkula, was fatally attacked by a homeless man in Georgia's Lithonia on January 16. Saini, a student pursuing an MBA degree in Lithonia, had been known for his acts of kindness toward his attacker, providing him with food and clothing. However, a dispute over free food allegedly led to a violent altercation resulting in Saini's tragic death.
Similarly, Akul Dhawan was found dead outside the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in January, with autopsy results indicating hypothermia as the cause of death. Dhawan's parents have since filed a complaint against the university's police department, citing negligence and inaction in their son's disappearance.
The incidents have raised concerns within the Indian student community in the United States, which comprises over 300,000 people.
Mental stress, loneliness, and exposure to substance abuse have been identified as contributing factors to these tragic occurrences, highlighting the need for increased support and awareness regarding mental health issues among students abroad.