Indian diplomats visit Louisiana campus

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Washington, Dec 17: Louisiana State University (LSU) Chancellor Sean O'Keefe has assured Indian diplomats all possible assistance in investigating the alleged murder of the two Indian students and in transporting their bodies back to their home state in Andhra Pradesh.

The Indian diplomats, Consul General of India in Houston, K P Pillai and First Secretary Alok Pandey in the Indian Embassy in Washington DC arrived in Baton Rouge yesterday to enquire into the killings of Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma and Kiran Kumar Allam, both PhD students of the LSU. Komma and Allam were found dead with gun shot wounds in an apartment building near the campus on Thursday. Both the men were married.

The LSU chancellor said the university was actively working to support the families involved and to help expedite any official matters they might encounter in trying to transport the remains of the two deceased students back to India.

The Indian diplomats also met other members of the campus community and a group of Indian students there to discuss the tragic death of the two Indian graduate students that took place on Thursday night. There are over 300 Indian students in Baton Rouge.

The purpose of their visit was to review the progress of the law enforcement task force, especially set up to investigate the crime and to assure assistance to the students' spouses and families, said a LSU press release.

The Indian diplomats said they appreciated the efforts of LSU to investigate the incident, and the support extended to the affected families.

The two diplomats have specially been sent to Baton Rouge to extend assistance to the families of the deceased students and liaise with various agencies to expedite the process.

From Baton Rouge, they also contacted India's Ambassador to the United States, Ronen Sen, who, in turn, expressed his gratitude to the Baton Rouge law enforcement authorities and LSU for their cooperation.

The diplomats also met with the task force leadership, which is investigating the crime, and senior law enforcement officials from LSU, city and state police, as well as LSU students from India and the families of the deceased students.

According to media reports, the task force investigating the slayings, have so far not found any clue or motive for the killings. They continued interviews with the wives and families of Allam and Komma, and searched the men's homes and cars for evidence.

According to a local daily, authorities were still looking for three men who were seen hurriedly leaving Allam's apartment on Thursday night and entering a car driven by another man, who drove into a nearby neighborhood.

''Everything that can be done right now is being done,'' said a spokesman of the task force formed on Friday. ''There is no shortage of resources being donated to the case.'' The LSU Foundation has established the 'Komma&Allam Support Fund' to help the two spouses.

The victims Allam, who lived at the Edward Gay Apartments, and Komma, who visited Allam at his apartments, were both PhD students at LSU, attending school on student visas.

Allam, born in 1974, was from Hyderabad, India, and was studying chemistry. Komma, born in 1976, was from Kurnool, in Andhra Pradesh, and a student of biology.

The LSU Indian Student Association held a memorial service for Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma and Kiran Kumar Allam on friday.


UNI

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