‘Driven, Talented’: US University In Shock Over Indian Student’s Death


Neel Acharya had been missing since Sunday

New Delhi:

Friends and teachers of Neel Acharya, the Indian student in the US found dead after he went missing, are in shock over the tragedy. A student of Pursue University in Indiana, Acharya was missing since Sunday. Hours later, a body was found on the university campus and was identified as that of Acharya.

Independent student newspaper The Purdue Exponent has reported that the interim head of the computer science department has sent a mail to students and faculty, informing them about Acharya’s death.

“It is with great sadness that I inform you that one of our students, Neel Acharya, has passed away. My condolences go out to his friends, family, and all affected,” Chris Clifton wrote in the mail. He described Acharya as a “driven individual and academically talented”. Clifton added that “it’s a shock” and a “real loss to our community”.

Clifton told The Purdue Exponent that he had received an email from the Office of the Dean of Students confirming Acharya’s death. “A deceased person was found that matched Neel’s description and had Neel’s ID on (him),” he said.

Acharya was a double major in computer science and data science in the John Martinson Honors College, according to the email. His friend and roommate Aryan Khanolkar said he was a “loving, charismatic soul, and will be cherished by all of us”.

According to Neel Acharya’s LinkedIn profile, he completed his schooling in Pune and joined Purdue in 2022.

His mother Gaury on Sunday put out a Twitter post, informing that Acharya had been missing and was last seen by an Uber driver who dropped him at the campus. She sought help in finding him. Soon after, Acharya was confirmed dead.

This incident comes close on the heels of the brutal murder of another Indian student in the US. Vivek Saini, who was pursuing an MBA course in Georgia’s Lithonia, worked part-time at a convenience store that sheltered a homeless man Julian Faulkner. Saini had reportedly given the man chips, water and even a jacket. On January 16, the 25-year-old reportedly refused to give Faulkner free food and this led to the attack.

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