Minal Panchal

Minal Panchal

Hometown: Mumbai, India

Age: 26

Class: Graduate Student

Major: Building Science

Location: Norris Hall

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Profile: Minal Panchal's mother recently arrived in the United States from her home in India to spend time with Panchal and her sister -- "just to visit the daughters . . . sort of just a break," said Rahul Chhabra, an Indian Embassy official.

After Monday's shootings, Panchal's mother, a widow, traveled to Blacksburg.

Minal Panchal, who grew up in the Indian state of Gujarat, was killed in a Norris Hall classroom along with other students and Professor G.V. Loganathan, Chhabra said.

Loganathan was also born in India, and small photographs of his and Panchal's faces have been placed on the blackened Web site of the school's Indian Students Association. "Our community has witnessed an unforeseeable tragedy," it reads.

From her pages at the social networking site Orkut, a picture of Panchal's personality emerges:

"humor: dry/sarcastic, friendly . . ."

"fashion: casual, contemporary . . ."

"pets: i like them at the zoos . . ."

"music: old hindi, r.d. burman, soft rock, enrique . . . and any fast music while at work."

A friend wrote, "Beauty with brains."

The first-year graduate student was taking classes in building sciences and architecture, Chhabra said.

A message left in a digital memorial reads: "Lets Pray for her Family. May her soul rest in Peace. Dear Minal, WE ALL MISS YOU A LOT."

-- Mike Laris, The Washington Post


© 2007 The Washington Post Company