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403 Indian students died abroad since 2018, Canada has highest deaths: Jaishankar to Lok Sabha

According to the data presented by Jaishankar, 91 Indian students died in Canada, 48 in the UK, 40 in Russia, 36 in the US and nine in China, since 2018 due to various causes. His statement came while four Indian-origin students were found dead in the US within January.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New Delhi Published on: February 03, 2024 10:49 IST
Indian students, Indian student deaths, foreign countries
Image Source : PIXABAY Representational Image

New Delhi: A total of 403 Indian students have died in foreign countries since 2018 due to various reasons including natural causes, accidents and medical conditions, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told the Lok Sabha on Friday. Canada had the highest number of deaths of Indian students at 91, while the United Kingdom followed second with 48 cases, he added.

"As per the information available with the ministry, 403 incidents of death of Indian students abroad have been reported since 2018 due to various reasons including natural causes, accidents and medical conditions," the minister said in the Parliament in response to a question on the safety of Indian students abroad. The minister said the welfare of Indian students in foreign countries is one of the foremost priorities of the government.

The countrywise data presented by the EAM showed 91 Indian students died in Canada, 48 in the UK, 40 in Russia, 36 in the US, 35 in Australia, 21 in Ukraine and 20 in Germany. According to the statistics, 14 Indian students died in Cyprus, 10 each in the Philippines and Italy and nine each in Qatar, China and Kyrgyzstan.

Indian students killed in US

Jaishankar's statement comes at a particularly concerning time when four Indian or Indian-origin students have been killed in the United States within the month of January. The Consulate General of India in New York on Thursday informed about the death of Shreyas Reddy Benigeri, an Indian American student, in Ohio, although no foul play was suspected.

The incident occurred days after Neel Acharya, an Indian-origin student pursuing a double major at the prestigious Purdue University, was found dead near the varsity airport. Prior to that, 25-year-old Indian student Vivek Saini was fatally attacked in Georgia state’s Lithonia city by a homeless drug addict. 

Another Indian-American student, 18-year-old Akul B Dhawan at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign was found dead last month with signs of hypothermia. Dhawan reportedly went missing in the early hours of January 20 and was found dead almost 10 hours later on the back porch of a building near the university campus in Illinois.

India on Neighbourhood policy, Israel-Hamas war

Meanwhile, Minister of State for External Affairs Raj Kumar Ranjan Singh said India's 'Neighbourhood First policy' continues to guide its approach towards the management of relations with countries in its immediate neighbourhood. "The Neighbourhood First policy, inter alia, has resulted in enhancing physical, digital and people-to-people connectivity across the region, as well as augmenting trade and commerce," Singh said, adding that the government is keeping a close watch on India's national security interests.

In response to a separate question on the Israel-Hamas war, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said India's policy towards Palestine has been long-standing and consistent. "We have supported a negotiated two-State solution, towards establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine within secure and recognised borders, living side by side in peace with Israel," he said.

Muraleedharan said India has strongly condemned the October 7 terror attacks on Israel and the loss of civilian lives in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, but also called for restraint and de-escalation and emphasised peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.

(with inputs from PTI)

ALSO READ | Another Indian-origin student dies in US, Embassy in New York rules out any foul play

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