All lives matter: Jaahnavi a victim of police insensitivity, racism - The Tribune India

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All lives matter

Jaahnavi a victim of police insensitivity, racism

All lives matter

Jaahnavi Kandula. Photo: LinkedIn

THE insensitivity shown by the US policeman investigating the death of an Indian student, Jaahnavi Kandula, in a road accident in Seattle is particularly disturbing as such behaviour is not expected of an official responsible for law enforcement. The cop, Daniel Auderer, has been caught on camera laughing away the girl’s death with a sneering comment smacking of racism: ‘Her life had limited value anyway.’ He is further seen as being dismissive about any probe into the fatal crash, saying that the city authorities should ‘just write a cheque’ (for the family). The 23-year-old girl was studying in the US under a student exchange programme and had a promising career ahead. She was killed after being hit on a crosswalk by a speeding police vehicle driven by officer Kevin Dave. The family back home is devastated by the twin blows — the loss of their beloved daughter, who was ‘beyond any dollar value’ for them, and the cop’s callousness over her demise, which took place almost eight months ago.

The incident has sparked outrage both in India and the US. People from various communities held a rally in Seattle on Thursday, condemning the failure of the police to bring the two erring cops to book. The Biden administration has assured the Indian Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, who took up the matter at the highest level, of prompt action in the case. In a heart-warming gesture, the university at which Jaahnavi studied has decided to award her a master’s degree posthumously.

The killing of a Black man, George Floyd, by a White policeman in the US had led to the #blacklivesmatter protests around the globe in 2020 against police brutality and racial injustice. Jaahnavi deserves justice too, just like Floyd got with exemplary punishment for his killer.

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