Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Family of Indian student stabbed in US seeks help, Telangana govt assures support (Ld)

The family of the student from Telangana, who was stabbed at a gym in Indiana state of the US, has sought help following which the state government has given an assurance of support.

Pucha Varun Raj (24), studying MSin Valparaiso University, was stabbed by an assailant in a gym.

The victim, a native of Khammam town of Telangana, was stabbed in the temple. He sustained a brainstem injury and was rushed to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, where he was reported to be in a very critical condition.

Varun Raj’s father Ramamurthy said they received the information that he was attacked while he was returning home from the gym. Varun Raj was doing MS and had also taken up a part-time job.

Ramamurthy, who works as a teacher in Mahabubabad district, met transport minister P. Ajay Kumar and requested help for the best medical treatment for his son.

Responding to a request for help, state minister for NRI affairs K.T. Rama Rao said the government would do its best to support Varun with the help of the Indian embassy and also Telangana NRI friends.

The Indian student was attacked by a 24-year-old man at a public gym thinking that the victim was going to “assassinate” him, a media report said.

Jordan Andrade was arrested after he drove a knife into Varun’s head at Planet Fitness Club’s massage room in the Valparaiso city of Indiana on Sunday morning, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported.

Andrade told Valparaiso Police that “someone” told him that Varun is “creepy” and “threatening” and feared that he would “assassinate him”.

Varun was taken to a Fort Wayne hospital due to the severity of his injury, and has been reportedly given a zero to five per cent chance of survival as the knife was driven into his temple and ultimately the brain stem.

Andrade is lodged at the Porter County Jail and has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery.

Police said they walked into the gym’s massage chair room to find a large amount of blood on one of two chairs and a folding knife on the counter that reportedly belonged to Andrade.

They found Varun seated in a massage chair with a head injury.

According to a charging document, Andrade said he made sure to react the “right way” after determining that Varun posed a threat to him.

“Andrade then described (the man) as a threat to him so he ‘just reacted’,” police said.

Andrade said Varun never got out of his chair and did not instigate any contact, “stating that the only physical contact was (the man) attempting to push Andrade off him after Andrade started attacking” him, police said.

Other gym goers described Varun as someone who “generally kept to himself, was quiet and reserved”.

Andrade is scheduled to make an initial appearance on the charges Wednesday afternoon before Porter Superior Court Judge.

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