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The North American Association of Indian Students (NAAIS) has expressed its profound disappointment in response to the troubling incident involving a police officer from the Seattle Police Department who reportedly laughed at the death of a 23-year-old Indian graduate student. This incident has raised concerns and sparked outrage within the Indian student community and beyond.
“We, as advocates for the Indian student community, are disheartened to see the reaction of a police officer, meant to protect us, laughing at the gruesome death caused by their department. Who do we trust?” said Sudhanshu Kaushik, executive director of NAAIS.
“As extensively documented by civil society and the State Department, the international student demographic has been increasing every year and is a large contributor to the United States economy. In this context, we feel deep disappointment that the Seattle Police Department has chosen to turn a blind eye and to protect members of their department for joking about the death of a 23-year-old graduate student,” he added.
NAAIS noted that incidents of hate crimes and violence against Indian students, whether perpetrated by random strangers or occurring within dorm rooms, have been on the rise since 2016. With a substantial population of over 100,000 international Indian students in the United States, it becomes crucial to implement measures at the local, state, and national levels to ensure the safety and protection of these students.
“NAAIS is deeply appreciative of those looking to hold the officers accountable, but it is a learning moment for us all to not minimize and ridicule the struggle of the Indian student community. We look forward to hearing strict actions against the officers in question to demonstrate that the values of our lives are of equal value,” Kaushik maintained.