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Jaahnavi Kandula death: US Hindu group asks ‘Where is the justice?’

New York, Feb 24 2024-

A top Hindu advocacy group in the US has said that it is “shocking” and “disheartening” to see that the investigation into the killing of Indian student Jaahnavi Kandula is dismissed with no charges against those who struck her.

Kandula, a student of the Northeastern University in South Lake Union, died after she was hit by a Seattle Police vehicle driven by officer Kevin Dave at a pedestrian crossing on the night of January 23 last year.

Authorities in the U.S. ruled on Wednesday that Dave will not face any criminal charges due to the lack of “sufficient” evidence.

Hindu advocacy group, Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA) said on Friday (local time) that it is “doubly shocking that such serious violations of civil rights of Hindus of different backgrounds and ages do not even merit any restorative justice.”

“It is shocking and disheartening to see the investigation into the killing of #JaahnaviKandula be dismissed with no charges against those who struck her. Where is #justice for the family of this young international student, run over in a #Seattle sidewalk by a police car?” CoHNA said in a post on X.

The group said that they are reminded of the “infamous” 2015 case of Sureshbhai Patel, who faced police brutality that left him paralysed.

Patel, then 57, was out for a walk in a neighborhood in Alabama when a 27-year-old police officer, Eric Parker, searched him for weapons.

He then took the Indian national to the ground which resulted in serious spinal cord injury and paralysis.

CoHNA said that charges against Parker were similarly dismissed due to ‘lack of sufficient evidence’.

The King County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement on Wednesday that they will not be moving ahead with the trial against Seattle Police Officer Dave, and no criminal charges will be pressed against him.

Kandula was thrown 100 feet when she was struck by the speeding police patrol vehicle, and died on the spot. (Agency)

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