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Indian-origin University Student Killed in US, Roommate Arrested


A 20-year-old Indian-origin student has been killed in his dormitory in the US state of Indiana and his Korean roommate was taken into custody, according to media reports. Varun Manish Chheda from Indianapolis, who was studying at Purdue University, was found dead in McCutcheon Hall on the western edge of campus, police said on Wednesday.

Another university student was arrested on a murder charge Wednesday, NBC News quoted the school’s police chief as saying. Ji Min Jimmy Sha, a 22-year-old junior cybersecurity major and international student from Korea, called 911 around 12:45 am on Wednesday to alert police about the death, Purdue University Police Chief Lesley Wiete said at a news conference Wednesday morning.

Details of the call were not disclosed. Authorities said the incident happened in a room on the first floor of McCutcheon Hall on the campus in West Lafayette, which is about 104 kilometers northwest of Indianapolis.

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Chheda, who was studying data science at the university, died of “multiple sharp force traumatic injuries,” and the manner of death was homicide, according to preliminary autopsy results. Chief Wiete said she believes the attack was unprovoked and senseless”, Fox News reported.

Arunabh Sinha, a childhood friend of Chheda, told NBC News that Chheda had been gaming and talking with friends online on Tuesday night when they suddenly heard screaming on the call. Sinha was not playing with his friends that night, but they told him they heard the attack and didn’t know what happened. They woke up Wednesday morning to news of his death.

Wiete said Sha was taken into custody minutes after the 911 call and taken to the police station for further investigation. He has not been formally charged. Chheda’s death is Purdue’s first on-campus homicide in more than eight years, police said.

University President Mitch Daniels said Chheda’s death was “as tragic an event as we can imagine happening on our campus,” adding that “our hearts and thoughts go out to all of those affected by this terrible event.

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