Washington: Indian-origin executive Vivek ‘Vick’ Taneja, 41, died in the United States, days after he was assaulted in Washington. According to police, Taneja was involved in a verbal argument with another man that turned physical on February 2, where he was knocked to the ground and hit his head on the pavement.
The victim succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday and Washington police have initiated a homicide probe into his death. The attacker was captured on surveillance camera and the police continued to search for him. Additionally, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) sought the public’s assistance in identifying and locating the suspect.
According to MPD documents, officers responded to the location for the report of an assault, where they located an adult male suffering from life-threatening injuries as a result of an assault. The Department has offered a reward for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people involved.
Who was Vivek Taneja?
- Taneja was the co-founder and president of Dynamo Technologies, a technology solutions and analytics product provider to the federal government. He led the company’s trategic, growth, and partnership initiatives, with an emphasis on the federal government contracting arena.
- He was a resident of Alexandria, a Virginia suburb of Washington DC. He is survived by his wife and daughter.
- A systems engineer by training, he led numerous technical consulting engagements across the public and private sectors.
- Taneja received his BA in Economics and Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Virginia, his MS in Telecommunications from George Mason University, and his D Eng in Engineering Management and Systems Engineering from George Washington University.
- His doctoral research utilized a system dynamics approach to analyze the impact of electronic healthcare records on the US healthcare system.
Deaths of Indian-origin students in US
Taneja’s death comes days after a disturbing video emerged on social media showing Hyderabad student Syed Mazahir Ali being attacked by robbers. Ali sought help from the Indian government after the incident.
Indian students in the US have hit the headlines following their tragic deaths. In 2024 alone, at least five students were killed wherein two were Indians and the other three were US nationals but of Indian origin. Earlier this week, a 23-year-old man was found dead at Indiana’s Purdue University. The student was identified as Sameer Kamath. However, later the administration claimed he died of suicide and denied any foul play.
Vivek Saini, another Indian student from Haryana, was hammered to death by a homeless drug addict in Georgia state’s Lithonia city. Saini, a part-time clerk at a store that sheltered Faulkner, had shown kindness to the accused for almost two days and provided him with chips, a coke, water, and even a jacket for warmth. Later, the death of another Indian student Shreyas Reddy Benigeri was reported from the Ohio region. According to the Indian Embassy in New York, a police investigation was underway but no foul play was suspected.
In December, Neel Acharya, an Indian student in the United States studying at Indiana’s Purdue University, went missing and his body was discovered last month. On February 1, the Indian Embassy in New York said that an 18-year-old Indian-American student, Akul B Dhawan, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign was found dead last month with signs of hypothermia.
Recently, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in Lok Sabha that a total of 403 Indian students have died in foreign countries since 2018 due to various reasons including natural causes, accidents and medical conditions. He told the House that Canada had the highest number of deaths of Indian students at 91, while the United Kingdom followed second with 48 cases.
(with PTI inputs)
ALSO READ | US: Indian-origin executive dies after being assaulted in Washington, police launch homicide probe