Biden Administration Assures Prompt Action On Jaahnavi Kandula's Death Case

Biden Administration Assures Prompt Action On Jaahnavi Kandula's Death Case

Indian Consul General in San Francisco Ashok Mandula has been in constant touch with the officials from Seattle City and Washington State on this issue. Expressing his deepest condolences to the Kandula family.

FPJ Education DeskUpdated: Thursday, September 14, 2023, 02:17 PM IST
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Jaahnavi Kandula was hit by a seattle police car | Facebook

In response to the death of an a Indian Student, Jaahnavi Kandula in Seattle in January this year, the Biden administration has assured the Indian government for a quick investigation into the matter. The Indian was killed after being struck by a speeding police patrol car and bringing to justice the police officers who were responsible for it.

The action from the US came after India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, strongly raised the issue at the highest level in Washington and sought prompt action on the killing of Jaahnavi. Reportedly the accused police officer, Kevin Dave was driving 74 mph (more than 119 kmph) on the way to a report of an overdose.

Indian Counsel urged Washington to take strict action

Indian Consul General in San Francisco Ashok Mandula has been in constant touch with the officials from Seattle City and Washington State on this issue. Expressing his deepest condolences to the Kandula family,

The Consulate General of India in San Francisco on Wednesday termed the handling of Kandula’s death as “deeply troubling”.

The mission in a post on platform X said, "We have taken up the matter strongly with local authorities in Seattle and Washington State as well as senior officials in Washington DC for a thorough investigation and action against those involved in this tragic case."

"The Consulate & Embassy will continue to closely follow up on this matter with all concerned authorities," it added.

Indian-American Congresswoman Reacts to the incident

Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal reIncidento the incident said, "This is appalling. I hope to see justice for Jaahnavi Kandula’s family and accountability for those involved."

Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna said, "Jaahnavi Kandula came here for graduate work from India. She was killed on a crosswalk by a speeding police car, and officer Auderer said her life had “limited value."

"I thought of my dad who came here in his 20s. Mr. Auderer, the life of every Indian immigrant has infinite value", added the congressman.

“Anyone who thinks that a human life has “limited value” should not be serving in law enforcement,” Khanna said.

Seattle City Mayor Writes a Letter To Kandula's family

Seattle City Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a letter to the Kandula family said that the comments made by the officer, Auderer do not reflect the feelings of the city or the communities that call it home.

Harrell's letter says, "We recognise that Jaahnavi’s death is a loss for our whole community – the loss of a young woman who had so much life ahead of her to do amazing things and share that joy with loved ones."

Indian-American Community leaders come in support of Kandula

Expressing condolences on the untimely passing of Kandula, community leader Ajay Bhutoria said her death reminds of the importance of safety and respect for all individuals in the community.

“We are deeply troubled by the unfortunate statement and poor conduct displayed by a Seattle police officer during this incident. Regardless of one’s background or circumstances, every individual deserves dignity, fairness, and compassion,” he said.

Describing this as unacceptable behavior, Bhutoria said it is crucial that incidents like these are rigorously examined, and accountability is upheld to maintain community trust in law enforcement agencies.

“As a community, we must unite to support Jaahnavi’s family and advocate for positive change. We urge authorities to take swift action to address this situation and implement measures to prevent such tragic incidents in the future,” Bhutoria said.

When did the incident happen?

On September 11, the bodycam footage released by the Seattle Police Department shows that another officer, Daniel Auderer laughed about the deadly crash and dismissed any implication Dave might be at fault or that a criminal investigation was necessary.

(with PTI inputs)

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