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1st in family to study in US, slain Andhra student Saiesh Veera was fulfilling late father’s dream

Hyderabad: Saiesh Veera would have graduated from the Cleveland University in the United States (US) in a few weeks’ time and hoped to visit India in May. The 24-year-old, pursuing a master’s programme, was set on fulfilling his late father’s dream of getting him educated in the US. But that dream was cut short late Thursday when Veera was shot dead at a gas station where he worked part time, in Columbus, Ohio.

According to reports, Veera was shot amid a robbery attempt at the station.

Hailing from Andhra Pradesh’s Eluru, Veera went to the US in 2021. Lately, he had wanted to switch jobs. “He told us that he had informed the fuel station owner that he no longer wished to continue the job. He was working towards getting a full-time IT job. Apparently, that night, there was no one to look after the fuel station, so he was asked to come. And this happened,” Veera’s uncle, Narasimha Rao, said to ThePrint over the phone.

According to him, Veera had also applied for an H1-B visa, which allows US employers to employ foreign workers.

Veera, whose late father was a lecturer at C.R. Reddy college in Eluru, is survived by his mother and elder brother who works in Andhra Pradesh’s Mangalagiri.

“It was his father’s dream to get his children educated in the US and Veera worked hard towards it,” Rao said, adding that the family had taken a bank loan to fund his education abroad.

According to the family,  Veera also wanted to give the family a better life, financial independence.

Eluru District Collector V. Prasanna Venkatesh has reached out to the family, assuring them that Veera’s body will be brought back, they said to ThePrint. State minister Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas has also visited the family in Eluru, they said.

Meanwhile, a distraught mother is seeking answers for her son’s murder.

“He never told me about any difficulties he had in the US. He used to call me every day, ask me what I had cooked… (not even) once did he say what he was going through. He went to the US as per his father’s wish…what wrong did my son do that the killer shot him?” Veera’s mother told the media Friday.

In the US, the Columbus Division of Police has reached out to the public, seeking tips on the suspect.

Also read: 4 anti-India, anti-Hindu incidents in US in a month, Indian Americans say Hinduphobia on rise

‘Brilliant cricketer, great friend’

Veera was a sports enthusiast and a passionate cricketer, the family said. Rohit Yalamanchili, a resident of the US, who has started a fund-raiser to fly Veera’s body back to India, noted how the deceased was a ‘brilliant cricketer’.

“He came to the US (the first in his family) like any other middle-class guy with aspirations…He was always willing to help people and was such a sport on the cricket field. Every person who plays cricket in the Columbus area would know him, he was a brilliant cricketer and a great friend,” Yalamanchili wrote on the fund-raiser page.

“I hope God brings peace to Saiesh, his mother, family, and friends who were touched by his soul,” he added.

The Telugu Association of North America (TANA), an independent organisation in the US, which is working on the formalities to get Veera’s body back to India, has raised concerns about the safety of Indian students in the US.

“We do a lot of seminars on what to do and what not to do in the US and a crucial part is watching one’s safety. Around 70,000 Indian students come to the US every year and it becomes very challenging for us to spread the message,” TANA Treasurer Ashok Babu Kolla told ThePrint over the phone, adding that formalities are being worked out and Veera’s body could likely be sent home by Sunday.

Late January, two Telugu students were shot in Chicago by robbers. According to reports, K Sai Charan from Hyderabad, and Devansh from Vijaywada were injured in the attack.

(Edited by Smriti Sinha)

Also read: UP tops 2021 in crimes against Scheduled Castes, followed by Rajasthan, MP, says report

Source: The Print

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