Indian student dies after meeting internet date in Australia, minister helps family

Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj offered official and financial assistance to expedite the repatriation of the body; tweeps praise Swaraj

Dubai: Indian Twitter users were shocked over the death of Maulin Rathod, an Indian student who was studying in Australia, earlier this week. On July 23, the 25-year-old was attacked and found critically injured after he went on a date with a woman whom he had met through an online dating app.

Rathod was taken to a hospital but died later.

Earlier tody, the Consulate General of India in Melbourne (@cgimelbourne) tweeted: “Press Release on the sad demise of Indian student Late Maulin Hirenkumar Rathod.”

After the incident when the Australian hospital contacted Rathod’s family with the news, they took to Twitter to send a message to India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj for help.

@vgopps tweeted: “@SushmaSwaraj ma’am my brother is serious at Australia in Melbourne city. We are not getting clear update of him and he is been attached by local guys of Australia. I request you to please help us as we want to go there as he is in ICU (Intensive Care Unit). Please give us support asap.”

The young man passed away the next day and the incident was reported on news channels.

According to Indian news outlet India Times: “Rathod had gone to #Australia for studies four years back. His parents live in Ahmedabad. His body is expected on arrive Monday.”

The Indian minister replied on July 25. @SushmaSwaraj wrote: “Priyanka – My heartfelt condolences. We have spoken to your father. We will bring the mortal remains of your brother to India. I have asked @cgimelbourne to expedite this. We will be in touch with you.”

Swaraj remained in touch with the tweep and the family and continued to offer support.

In a follow-up tweet on July 26, @vgopss posted: “Dear madam the process for sending my brother back is going on very slow so please take necessary action to bring him back asap. And do the needful to wave off the charges to bring him back. Waiting for your positive response.”

Other tweeps also posted requesting Swaraj to ensure that fast action was taken.

@patel_charmish tweeted: “Ma’am @SushmaSwaraj, please kindly bring back the body of Maulin Rathod who had gone to study in Australia and on Monday he was murdered… His family’s economical condition is worse…”

Swaraj offered official as well as financial support to the family to repatriate Rathod’s body. @SushmaSwaraj replied: “Priyanka – It is not a natural death. It is a case of murder. That’s the reason for delay. Our consulate is expediting the whole process. As regards expense, please leave that to us. You need not worry.”

Swaraj was greatly appreciated by many for the concern she showed in dealing with this case. Many Twitter users said other ministers need to learn from 66-year-old Swaraj.

Tweep @vijaysardana posted: “I wish all ministers become so sensitive, this world will be much better place to live. Many ministers don’t even accept that there is problem in the system. Sad. This is the reason why people admire our foreign minister more than any minister in India, when others will learn.”

According to media reports, a 19-year-old woman faces serious charges related to Rathod’s death. The woman who lived alone, was arrested and charged with intentionally causing serious injury. International media reports said her charges will be reviewed and are expected to be upgraded to manslaughter or murder.


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