A 26-year old Indian youth who had landed in America merely a few weeks ago was shot dead by miscreants. Vikram Jaryal, who was working at a patrol pump in Washington State, was shot dead by two masked men who before killing him, snatched all the cash from him.
The anti-Indian attacks have gone up in the last few months since Donald Trump won the presidential elections in the US. While anti-immigrants sentiments are on the rise, Indians are among the biggest targets. Indian Americans are among the most well-to-do communities in the US and hence the anti-Indian sentiments among the locals.
At least four Indian Americans have been killed in the last couple of months and several more injured in the mindless attacks against the Indian community in different parts of the country. Merely last week, another Indian youth working in the US was shot dead and his wife badly injured.
India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, in a series of tweets, said that she was in contact with authorities there. “I have received a report on the shootout incident resulting in the tragic death of Indian national Vikram Jaryal in Washington State USA…On 6 April two miscreants entered the shop at 1.30 am. They snatched cash from victim and shot on his chest. This resulted in his death. We are coordinating with the investigative agencies. They have got the CCTV footage and are in the process of apprehending the culprits…Our consulate in San Francisco is helping the family and following this up with the Police authorities,” She said in another tweet.
Given the spate of attacks against Indians and tougher travel regulations, the enthusiasm for American universities among the Indian youth is declining. Concerns and anxieties about the Donald Trump administration’s travel orders and increasing lack of tolerance for foreigners, especially Indians here, Indian students are going to safer place where education facilities are better. A large number of Indian students are heading to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany and UK. Many are also going to China for professional education.
A report by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) said, “Nearly 40% of US colleges are seeing declines in applications from international students, and international student recruitment professionals report ‘a great deal of concern’ from students and their families about visas and perceptions of a less welcoming climate in the US”.
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) report said that the heaviest drops were reported from India and China, who together made up 47% of the international students in 2016, totalling almost half a million, according to Open Door, a government-funded body that studies and tracks international students and scholars. Of the colleges surveyed, 26% reported a decline in undergraduate applications from India and 25% reported a decline from China. And the drop in applications for graduate courses was 15% from India and 32% from China.
The 26-year old Jaryal, who hailed from Hoshiarpur district in Punjab, worked as a clerk in the petrol pump. Reports suggest that Jaryal was behind the counter when two people in masks entered the office and snatched the cash from him. Officials claim that Jaryal didn’t resist the attackers and gave them money. But instead of fleeing the place, one of the suspects fired at him. “Somebody knows something. Somebody knows these people. The still photos show a very recognisable top that one of the suspects is wearing,” Mike Bastinelli, Yakima Police Department said. “The shooter wore a black hoodie with patches of white on the back,” he said.
A report in the NBC Right Now TV said, “The victim was able to tell officers what happened when they arrived a few minutes later; but tragically, he died a short time later at the hospital”.
I have received a report on the shootout incident resulting in the tragic death of Indian national Vikram Jaryal in Washington State USA./1
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) April 8, 2017
Vikram Jaryal worked as a clerk in the store at AM-PM Gas Station in Yakima city.https://t.co/qOvTRFGqnp
— The Quint (@TheQuint) April 8, 2017
— Sushil Rao (@sushilrTOI) April 7, 2017