The US government has assured India of a quick and fair investigation into the death of Andhra Pradesh student Jaahnavi Kandula in an accident in Seattle, reports news agency PTI. The Indian student was killed after being hit by a speeding police car in January.
A video released by Seattle Police Department showing a cop laughing while talking about the accident has sparked outrage. The US government swung into action after Indian consulate raised the issue and sought action against those responsible for Jaahnavi Kandula’s death and also those heard joking on the video.
.. for a thorough investigation & action against those involved in this tragic case.
The Consulate & Embassy will continue to closely follow up on this matter with all concerned authorities.@IndianEmbassyUS@MEAIndia
— India in SF (@CGISFO) September 13, 2023
In the video, Officer Daniel Auderer can be heard laughing about the deadly crash and also says that there was no need for a criminal investigation against his colleague Kevin Dave, who was driving the car.
US lawmakers and Indian-Americans have expressed outrage over the death of Kandula and the video.
“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,” Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna said.
“Anyone who thinks that a human life has “limited value” should not be serving in law enforcement,” Khanna said.
Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said: “This is appalling. I hope to see justice for Jaahnavi Kandula’s family and accountability for those involved.”
In a letter to the Kandula family, Seattle City Mayor Bruce Harrell said that the comments made by one person do not reflect the feelings of the city or the communities that call it home.
“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,” Harrell said in his communication to the Kandula family.
Senior administration officials are believed to have assured India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, that the entire incident has been taken very seriously by them.
They are monitoring its investigation from Washington DC the progress of the case to ensure that there is adequate accountability.
(With PTI inputs)