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Breaking News: University Pays Tribute to Jahnavi After Fatal Accident

Jaahnavi Kandula Death: Tragic Demise Leads to Posthumous Degree from Northeastern University

In a heartbreaking turn of events, Indian student Jaahnavi Kandula met a tragic end in Washington when she was fatally struck by a police vehicle in January. However, Northeastern University has made a compassionate decision to award her a posthumous degree, recognizing her dedication and hard work.

A Life Cut Short

Jaahnavi Kandula, originally from Andhra Pradesh, was pursuing a master’s degree at the South Lake Union campus of Northeastern University. She had embarked on an exciting journey in 2021 through a student exchange program, traveling from Bengaluru to the United States. Jaahnavi was set to graduate in December but, tragically, her life was cut short.

Chancellor’s Announcement

Chancellor Kenneth W. Henderson took to the university’s official Facebook page to express his condolences and share the institution’s heartfelt decision. He stated, “Jaahnavi’s absence will be deeply felt by students, staff, and faculty alike… The university plans to award Jaahnavi a posthumous degree and is working on a plan to present it to her family.”

Impact on the Community

The Indian student community at Northeastern University and the entire campus has been profoundly affected by this tragedy. Chancellor Henderson also emphasized the importance of mental health support, saying, “We acknowledge that our Indian student community across all Northeastern campuses has been particularly affected by this tragedy, and we stand with you in solidarity. We are hopeful that ongoing investigations will bring justice and accountability.”

Mental Health Support

In addition to addressing the academic aspect, the university has also mentioned a helpline number for mental health support in its statement. It’s a testament to their commitment to the well-being of their students during these difficult times.

The Tragic Accident

To provide context, Jaahnavi Kandula lost her life in January when a police vehicle, driven by Officer Kevin Dave, struck her. According to reports by the Seattle Times, the officers were driving at speeds exceeding 119 kilometers per hour to reach the scene after receiving an overdose report.

The bodycam footage released by the Seattle Police Department on Monday revealed that Officer Daniel Oderar took evasive action to avoid the tragic accident and ruled out any wrongdoing on Dave’s part. The incident is still under investigation to determine any potential criminal charges.

Outpouring of Grief

The news of Jaahnavi Kandula’s untimely death has sparked outrage among American lawmakers and Indian-Americans alike. The Biden administration has reassured the Indian government of a swift investigation and the possibility of holding the responsible police officers accountable.

Senior administrative officials are reported to have assured diplomats and the Indian government that they are taking the incident very seriously. They have expressed being “stunned” and “shaken” by the incident.


The tragic demise of Jaahnavi Kandula has left a void in the hearts of many, both in the United States and India. Northeastern University’s decision to confer a posthumous degree is a poignant tribute to her academic dedication. While the investigation into the accident is ongoing, it serves as a reminder of the importance of road safety and the need for swift justice.

Our thoughts go out to Jaahnavi’s family, friends, and the entire Northeastern University community during this challenging time.