Indian Student, 25, Found Dead

Went to Ohio in 2023 for Master's

The Indian consulate in New York has confirmed the demise of Mohammed Abdul Arfath, a 25-year-old student from Hyderabad who had moved to the US in 2023 for his Master's studies at Cleveland State University. Arfath, who had been missing for almost three weeks, was found deceased.

Expressing deep sadness, the consulate confirmed the unfortunate demise of Mr. Mohammed Abdul Arfath in Cleveland, Ohio, despite ongoing search efforts. They offered heartfelt condolences to Mr. Arfath's family during this challenging period.

"@IndiainNewYork is coordinating with local authorities to ensure a comprehensive investigation into the death of Mr. Mohammed Abdul Arfath. We are providing all necessary support to the grieving family to repatriate his body to India," the statement further stated.

Mohammed Saleem, Arfath's father, mentioned that their last conversation was on March 7, after which Arfath's phone was switched off. On March 19, Mr. Saleem received a call from an unidentified individual claiming that Arfath had been abducted by a drug-selling gang and demanded $1,200.

Mr. Saleem recounted to news agency PTI, "I received a call from an unknown number, informing me of my son's abduction and demanding money. However, the caller did not specify the payment method. When I requested to speak with my son, the caller refused."

The string of deaths involving Indian and Indian-origin students in the US this year has left both the student community in the US and their families in India deeply shocked and concerned. Among the tragic incidents, 25-year-old Vivek Saini was fatally attacked by a homeless drug addict, while 27-year-old Venkataramana Pittala lost his life in a watercraft accident. The causes of death for several other students remain unconfirmed at this time.

The United States continues to be a preferred destination for Indian students seeking higher education opportunities. In the 2022-2023 academic session, over 260,000 Indian students migrated to the US, marking a significant increase of 35 percent compared to the previous session.

Edited By: Arusha Farooq

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