Jaahnavi Kandula, Indian student killed in US police car strike, to be awarded degree posthumously
Kenneth Henderson, chancellor of the university where the victim studied, said the Indian student community across all campuses has been hit by the tragedy and its aftermath.
Indian student Jaahnavi Kandula who died after being struck by a speeding police patrol car in Seattle, US, in January 2023. (PTI Photo)
THE university in the US where Jaahnavi Kandula, a student from India was enrolled and awaited her graduation this year end, has decided to award her the degree posthumously and present it to her family.
The 23-year-old Kandula, who was pursuing a master’s degree from the Northeastern University campus in South Lake Union in Seattle, was killed after being struck by an overspeeding patrol car from the city’s police department in January this year.
She went to the US from the southern city of Bengaluru on a student exchange programme two years ago.
The incident caused a massive outrage recently after the bodycam footage of an American police officer showed him joking about Kandula’s death and saying she had “limited value”. The Indian, who belonged to the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, was hit by Kevin Dave, a colleague of the accused officer, Daniel Auderer.
Kenneth Henderson, chancellor of the university, said the Indian student community across all Northeastern campuses has been especially affected by the tragedy and its aftermath.
“We stand in solidarity with you and have every expectation that the ongoing investigations will bring a measure of justice and accountability,” he said in a statement issued by the university which also included a helpline number for mental health support.
“Northeastern provides a 24/7 mental health support service called Find@Northeastern that offers students access to a licensed mental health clinician at any time from any location in the world by calling 877.233.9477 (U.S.), 55.229.8797(Canada), +1.781.457.7777 (Intl.). Student support is also available from the We Care team in Student Life at [email protected] or 617.373.7591 as well through the Student Affairs team on the Seattle campus at [email protected]. Faculty and Staff can contact the employee assistance program at New Directions at 800.624.5544,” it said.
Kandula’s death also saw the US’s Joe Biden administration assuring the Indian government of prompt action into the case and bringing the officers responsible for it to justice.
Several people in the US, including Indian American lawmakers, expressed deep anguish over Auderer’s allegedly insensitive remarks over Kandula’s death.