VALPARAISO, Indiana (Diya TV) – In a heartbreaking incident at a Northwest Indiana gym, Valparaiso University’s Computer Science student, 27 year old Varun Raj Pucha, was fatally stabbed on October 29. The alleged assailant, 24 year old Jordan Andrade, now faces a murder charge, with his lawyers requesting a mental health examination. Pucha, an ambitious student from India, aimed to support his family and excel academically.
Pucha’s cousin, Anile Balleboyne, shared the family’s shock, underlining his dreams and aspirations. Despite intensive medical care, Pucha, who only had movement on one side of his body, remained unconscious at a Fort Wayne hospital before succumbing to his injuries.
Valparaiso University President José D. Padilla mourned Pucha’s passing, emphasizing the significant loss to the campus community. A service of remembrance was held on November 16, offering condolences and support to Pucha’s grieving family.
The stabbing unfolded at a public gym, resulting in Andrade’s arrest on charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery. With the motive yet to be disclosed, the university pledges ongoing assistance to Pucha’s family.
Prompted by the tragedy, the North American Telugu Society initiated a GoFundMe campaign, raising $90,000 for Pucha’s family. Legal proceedings continue, with potential murder charge upgrades for Andrade, scheduled for a court appearance on January 19.
In August 2022, 104 graduate students, including Pucha, arrived at Valparaiso University from India, seeking educational opportunities. Pucha’s untimely death has left the campus community grappling with grief. A memorial service featured Hindu rituals, prayers, and a moment of silence, reflecting the impact of Pucha’s unexpected demise.
Mayor Matt Murphy emphasized the city’s commitment to safety, collaborating with the university and police. Pucha’s parents, unable to travel due to his deteriorating condition, received support from the community. The campus, united in mourning, aims to honor Pucha’s memory and turn a moment of darkness into one of reflection and hope.