Attack on Indian students: USA ‘working very hard’ to address issue

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

A series of attacks beginning this year has put the focus back on the security and safety of the Indian students across the country which has witnessed more than four deaths from the community.

“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 United States,” John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House, said on Thursday.

Allaying the fears of parents in India as well as in the US, Kirby said President Joe Biden and his administration are working “very hard” to address the situation.

“The President and this administration have been working very, very hard to make sure we’re doing everything we can to work with state and local authorities to try to thwart and disrupt those kinds of attacks and make it clear to anybody who might consider them that they’ll be held properly accountable,” Kirby said in response to a question.

Five Indian students have died in quick succession in the US since the start of this year, including Shreyas Reddy Benigeri in Cincinnati and Purdue University’s Neel Acharya in Indiana.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar 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.

Last year, the US consular team in India issued over 140,000 student visas — more than in any other country in the world, setting a record for the third year in a row. (IANS)

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