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Indian Student at Purdue University Found Dead, Another Indian in Georgia Killed by a Homeless Man 

Indian Student at Purdue University Found Dead, Another Indian in Georgia Killed by a Homeless Man 

  • Neel Acharya’s body was discovered a day after his mother in India reported him missing, while Vivek Saini was killed inside a Chevron Food Mart where he worked as a part time clerk.

Neel Acharya, an Indian student studying at Purdue University in Indiana, who was missing since Jan. 28, has died, authorities confirmed a day later. The coroner of Tippecanoe County said officers arrived at 500 Allison Road in West Lafayette for a possible dead body and found a “college-aged male” deceased on the university campus, according to Purdue Exponent, a multimedia agency independent of the university. The cause of death remains unknown and Tippecanoe authorities have not released any information regarding how he died. The young man, originally from Pune, Acharya was a double major in computer science and data science in the John Martinson Honors College.

A post on X by his mother Goury Acharya alerted university authorities and the Consulate General of India in Chicago that her son was missing. “Our son Neel Acharya has been missing since yesterday Jan 28 (12:30 AM EST) He is studying at Purdue University in the US. He was last seen by the Uber driver who dropped him off at Purdue University. We are looking for any info on him. Please help us if you know anything,” she wrote. 

The Indian consulate in Chicago responded by saying that it is making all efforts to locate Neel but the university soon confirmed his death.  “It is with great sadness that I inform you that one of our students, Neel Acharya, has passed away,” Purdue University’s Computer Science interim head Chris Clifton said. “My condolences go out to his friends, family, and all affected, (He was a) driven individual and academically talented. It’s a shock. A real loss to our community.”

His roommate and friend Aryan Khanolkar told the Purdue Exponent  that Acharya was a “loving, charismatic soul, and will be cherished by all of us.”

Earlier this month, another Indian man was killed by a homeless man inside the store where he worked in Lithonia, Georgia. Vivek Saini, top inset, who had recently completed his MBA from the University of Alabama, worked as a part-time clerk at a Chevron Food Mart. Two years ago, he came to the U.S. after completing his B.Tech in Computer Science from Chandigarh University.

The Jan. 16 incident, which was captured on camera, shows the homeless man, identified as Julian Faulkner, repeatedly hitting Saini with a hammer. Faulkner was given shelter in the store by Saini and some other employees for almost two days, WSB-TV reported. Employees told the station that they gave him chips, a coke, water and a jacket to keep himself warm, and did not ask him to get out of the store because of the cold, 

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However, on Jan. 16, Saini asked Faulkner to leave, or he would call the police. 

That triggered him and he attacked Saini with a hammer as he was leaving for home. An employee told WSB-TV that Faulkner “hit him from the back, and then kept on hitting for almost 50 times on the head.”

When the police arrived at the scene, they discovered Faulkner with the hammer standing over Saini’s body. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Faulkner is in jail on charges of malice murder and interference with government property.

His cousin Simran told India Today that Saini was “a brilliant student who just wanted a decent job to support himself and his family.”

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