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US Campus Murders
Task force to hunt for killers

Chandrasekhar Reddy

Kiran Kumar Allam

Washington, December 15
A special task force has launched a manhunt in connection with the murder of two Indian doctoral students of the Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge.

However, no arrests have been made so far nor any suspect has been identified. Authorities say the investigation is in progress.

Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma (31) and Kiran Kumar Allam (33), both hailing from Andhra Pradesh, were found murdered in an apartment on the university campus on Thursday night.

The task force, comprising the LSU Police Department, the Baton Rouge Police Department, Louisiana State Police, and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, is trying to identify and locate three young black men who were seen hurriedly leaving the vicinity, Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman sgt Don Kelly said in a press release yesterday.

The men got into a small to mid-size four-door car, possibly occupied by a fourth person acting as the driver. The car was seen leaving the residential complex with its headlights off, headed south and the lights were turned back on as it turned west onto Aster Street, Kelly said.

LSU chancellor Sean O’Keefe told a news conference yesterday that Komma and Allam were slain at the Edward Gay Apartments, near West Roosevelt Street. Both were shot in the head. “They appeared to be targeted for reasons unknown. This does not appear to be a random event,” the chancellor added.

However, a local daily quoted Capt Russell Roge of the LSU Police Department saying that “this is an armed robbery, we know that for sure. There are items missing.”

He said the robbery was possibly a target of opportunity and detectives have heard that Allam often left the door to his apartment open. There were no signs of forced entry, Capt Roge said.

The Daily said the killings were first reported to LSU police as a medical emergency call about 2237 hrs on Thursday. When the university police arrived at the downstairs apartment, they found both men shot and one bound, he said.

The apartment was home to Allam, a chemistry student, and his wife. Komma, a biology student, lived in an apartment off Burbank Drive and apparently was visiting Allam at the time of the shooting. — UNI

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Efforts on to bring bodies of slain students: AP

Hyderabad, December 15
Andhra Pradesh government is making efforts to bring the bodies of two students who were found shot dead in an apartment inside Louisiana state university campus in the USA.

“We are in touch with the American Embassy. Kiran Kumar’s father Allam Rajaiah has already left for the USA. The Telugu Associations there met Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal too,” power minister Shabbir Ali, who looks after Non-Resident Telugu Affairs, told reporters here.

He said two officials from the Indian Embassy in Washington were also on their way to Louisiana to coordinate the efforts to bring back the bodies. The government would facilitate the travel to USA if the relatives of the deceased desired so.

The students were found dead inside the apartment last night in an apparent incident of home invasion.

While Rajaiah, a noted Telugu writer, left for America in the wee hours today, Reddy’s family members were also likely to go to the USA. — PTI

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