Indian student, 25, found dead in US; consulate coordinates investigation

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Indian student Mohammed Abdul Arfath had been missing for nearly 3 weeks before his body was discovered.

NEW DELHI, India, April 9: The Indian consulate in New York confirmed today that Mohammed Abdul Arfath, a 25-year-old student from Hyderabad who moved to the US in 2023 to pursue a Master’s degree at Cleveland State University, has been found dead. Arfath had been missing for nearly three weeks before his body was discovered.

Expressing deep condolences to Arfath’s family, the consulate posted on X, stating, “Anguished to learn that Mr. Mohammed Abdul Arfath, for whom search operation was underway, was found dead in Cleveland, Ohio. Our deepest condolences to Mr. Mohammed Arfath’s family.”

The consulate also assured that they are collaborating with local authorities to ensure a thorough investigation into Arfath’s death and are providing all necessary assistance to transport his remains back to India.

Arfath’s father, Mohammed Saleem, revealed that the last communication with his son was on March 7, after which Arfath’s phone was turned off. On March 19, Saleem received a call from an unidentified individual claiming Arfath had been kidnapped by a drug-selling gang and demanded $1,200 for his release.

“I got a call from an unknown number, and the caller informed me that my son had been kidnapped and demanded money. The caller did not mention the mode of payment. When I asked the caller to let us talk to my son, he refused,” Saleem recounted to news agency PTI.

Arfath’s tragic demise adds to a string of deaths among Indian students in the US this year. The recent incidents, including the killing of 25-year-old Vivek Saini by a homeless drug addict and the death of 27-year-old Venkataramana Pittala in a watercraft accident, have left the Indian student community and their families in India deeply distressed.

The US remains a preferred destination for Indian students pursuing higher education, with over 2.6 lakh Indian students migrating to the country during the 2022-2023 academic session, marking a significant 35% increase from the previous session.

This news has been read 921 times!

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