Indian Student Missing in Cleveland: Consulate General And Local Authorities Collaborate In Search Efforts

Indian Student Missing in Cleveland: Consulate General And Local Authorities Collaborate In Search Efforts

Mohammad Abdul Arfath, hailing from Nacharam, Hyderabad, arrived in the US in May last year to pursue a Masters in IT from Cleveland University.

PTIUpdated: Thursday, March 21, 2024, 11:49 AM IST
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@sudhakarudumula/X

The Consulate General of India in New York is working with local law enforcement authorities to find a 25-year-old Indian student in Cleveland who has been missing since the beginning of this month.

Mohammad Abdul Arfath, hailing from Nacharam, Hyderabad, arrived in the US in May last year to pursue a Masters in IT from Cleveland University.

His father Mohammed Saleem said that Arfath last spoke to him on March 7. Since then, he has not been in touch with his family and his mobile phone is switched off.

The Indian Consulate said in a post on X that it is in touch with Arfath's family and authorities in the US. "We are working with local law enforcement agencies to find him at the earliest."

Arfath's roommates in the US informed his father that they have lodged a missing persons complaint with Cleveland Police.
On March 19, Arfath's family received a call from an unidentified person who claimed that Arfath had been kidnapped allegedly by a gang selling drugs and demanded USD 1,200 to release him.

The caller also threatened to sell Arfath's kidneys if the ransom wasn't paid, his father said.

Threats

"Yesterday, I got a call from an unknown number, and the caller informed me that my son has been kidnapped and demanded money. The caller did not mention the mode of payment but just asked to pay the amount. When I asked the caller to allow us to talk to my son but he refused," Saleem told PTI in Hyderabad.

Arfath's parents have requested the central government to take necessary measures to bring back their son safely. Saleem has also written to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in this regard.

The incident is the latest in a string of troubling cases pertaining to the safety and security of Indian students in the US. Since the beginning of this year, several cases of deaths of Indian and Indian-origin students have caused alarm and concern among the community.

X post on the death of Abhijeeth Paruchuru

Earlier this week, the Consulate had posted on X about the death of Abhijeeth Paruchuru, a 20-year-old Indian student, in Boston. Paruchuru's parents, based in Connecticut, had been in direct touch with detectives and initial investigations into his death had ruled out any foul play.

Indian-American Sameer Kamath, 23, a student at Purdue University was found dead in a nature preserve in Indiana in February. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to authorities.

In January, 18-year-old Akul Dhawan, a student of the University of Illinois was found unresponsive outside a campus building. Investigations revealed that he died due to hypothermia. Authorities said acute alcohol intoxication and prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures contributed to his death.

In another incident in January, 25-year-old Indian student Vivek Saini was hammered to death by a homeless drug addict in Georgia.

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