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Missing Indian student found dead in US

Hyderabad, April 9 2024-

A 25-year-old student from Hyderabad who had been missing since last month was found dead in the US city of Cleveland.

Mohammed Abdul Arfath, hailing from Nacharam near Hyderabad, was pursuing a master’s degree in Information Technology at Cleveland University, Ohio. He was not in touch with the family since March 7 and his family here had received a ransom call.

“Anguished to learn that Mr. Mohammed Abdul Arfath, for whom search operation was underway, was found dead in Cleveland, Ohio. Our deepest condolences to Mr Mohammed Arfath’s family,” the Consulate General of India in New York said in a post on ‘X’ on Tuesday.

The Consulate is in touch with local agencies to ensure a thorough investigation into Mohammed Abdul Arfath’s death. “We are extending all possible assistance to the bereaved family to transport his mortal remains to India,” it added.

On March 21, the Indian consulate posted that it was in touch with Arfath’s family and authorities in the US and was working with local law enforcement agencies to find him at the earliest.

Arfath’s family residing in Malkajgiri district near Hyderabad had 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.

Arfath’s father Mohammed Saleem said he received the call on March 17. The caller threatened to sell Arfath’s kidneys if the ransom wasn’t paid.

Arfath went to the US in May 2023 to pursue a Masters in IT from Cleveland University. His family claims he had not spoken to them since March 7.

After Saleem received the ransom call, he informed his relatives in the US, who filed a missing complaint with the Cleveland police. The police had issued a watch order. According to the order, Abdul was wearing a white T-shirt, a red jacket and blue jeans.

The family wrote to the Indian Consulate in Chicago on March 18 to help trace Arfath.

Saleem had also appealed to Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar for help in locating his son.

Arfath had reportedly left his home at Reserve Square on March 5 and had not returned. (Agency)

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