US varsity offers fellowship in memory of Mahato

April 6th, 2008 - 11:32 pm ICT by admin  

New York, April 6 (IANS) The Duke University in the US has established a fellowship in the memory of the slain Indian graduate student, Abhijit Mahato, varsity president Richard Brodhead announced Saturday. The Abhijit Mahato Memorial Fellowship will provide financial support to an international graduate student studying engineering at the university in Durham, North Carolina, with preference given to a student from India.

The announcement came at a meeting Broadhead had with Indian American community leaders and friends of Mahato.

Mahato, 29, originally from Tatanagar, Jharkhand, was an IIT-Kanpur alumnus studying for a PhD in engineering at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering when he was found shot dead at his residence near the campus Jan 18. Two men have since been charged with his murder.

In a letter to Mahato’s parents, Brodhead noted that the university’s trustees had approved the setting up of a memorial and expressed his sorrow over their son’s death.

“I attended the memorial services where your son’s professors and his many friends described him with glowing admiration,” the university president wrote in the letter.

Welcoming Duke’s move, Swadesh Chatterjee, a prominent Indian American leader who lives in the area, said: “We as Indian Americans are moved by the establishment of the Abhijit Mahato Memorial Fellowship, which will enable international graduate students to continue their education in engineering at Duke.”

“We commend Duke’s bold initiative and feel that Abhijit’s hard work and diligence at Duke - so tragically cut short - will live on through the fellowship and the many international students it will benefit,” he added.

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