Home INDIA UK Police Share Family Tribute To Indian PhD Student Killed In London

UK Police Share Family Tribute To Indian PhD Student Killed In London

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British police share family tribute to Indian PhD student murdered in London


Police said Kochhar was pursuing her PhD in behavioral research at the London School of Economics.


The Metropolitan Police in London on Tuesday officially named a former NITI Aayog employee Cheistha Kochhar as the 33-year-old woman who died in a road accident in North London while cycling home from the London School of Economics (LSE).

A week after the incident, no arrests have been made, police said.

Police said Kochhar, who was pursuing her PhD in behavioral research at the LSE, died on the evening of March 19 after colliding with a garbage truck on Clerkenwell Road near the junction with Farringdon Road.

Police said investigations into the circumstances of the collision are ongoing, with officers continuing to appeal for witnesses and for any road users with dashcam footage from the scene to come forward.

“Cheistha was cycling when she was involved in a collision with a garbage truck – the truck stopped at the scene and the driver is assisting police with their investigation. No arrest has been made and investigations into the circumstances continue,” the Met Police said.

Police also issued a statement on behalf of Cheistha Kochhar’s family, praising her “deep intelligence” and “lively attitude”, which has won her many friends.

“She always had a hug for everyone and she lived her life on the principle that it was more important to be the nicest person in the room than the smartest person in the room. In the short time she had to do this, she has helped tens of thousands touched people in deeply meaningful ways and the magnitude of this loss is incomprehensible,” the family tribute reads.

Cheistha was born in Bareilly in 1990 and graduated from high school from the Monastery of Jesus and Mary, New Delhi. After graduating from the University of Delhi in 2008 with a BA in Economics and Mathematics, she completed the PGP in Liberal Arts as a Young India Fellow at Ashoka University and then did another postgraduate degree at the University of Chicago in International Development and Policy . (MAIDP).

She had also started a few start-ups, first as a student to distribute surplus food from college canteens to the needy and later to create opportunities for the unemployed, underprivileged section of society in New Delhi. She also worked with McKinsey and University of Chicago and most recently worked at NITI Aayog of India (formerly Planning Commission), where she founded the National Behavioral Insights Unit of India as a senior advisor. All this happened before she turned 32,” the family statement said.

‘Despite her experience as a practitioner and executive, she had the heart of an academic, having worked and collaborated with Nobel laureates, and eventually came to London as a PhD Scholar in LSE. Even though these were just the early stages of her PhD life, she would definitely work on studying and improving cooperation between various pro-social organizations to tackle the major challenges facing countries in the Global South. She was a staunch patriot and wanted to bring all her expertise back to India to change lives,” it concludes.

Earlier, former NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant took to social media to heap praise on Kochhar, who had moved from Gurugram to London in September last year to enroll as a PhD student at the LSE.

Kant said, “Cheistha Kochhar worked with me on the #LIFE (Lifestyle for the Environment) program in NITI Aayog. She was in the #Nudge unit and had gone on to do her PhD in behavioral sciences from LSE. Died in a terrible traffic incident during cycling in London. She was smart, brilliant and courageous and always full of life. Left too soon. RIP.” Kochhar was a senior advisor at the National Behavioral Insights Unit of India for almost two years until April last year, before moving to London with her husband, software engineer Prashant Gautam.

“I am still in London to collect the remains of my daughter, Cheistha Kochhar. She was run over by a truck on March 19 while cycling back from LSE, where she was doing her PhD,” said her father, Lt. Gen. Dr SP Kochhar, Director General of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said in an emotional post on LinkedIn.

“It has devastated us and her large circle of friends,” he said, along with a link to an online memorial page created in her memory.

The memorial page opens with a quote from Cheistha, which reads, “What we create must outlast us,” and is followed by several touching tributes posted by friends and family.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WhatsNew2Day staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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