Andhra student shot in US is critical, but stable (Lead, changing dateline)

November 16th, 2008 - 11:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New York/Hyderabad, Nov 16 (IANS) Shashank Pulluru, a student from Andhra Pradesh who was shot outside his apartment in the US, is in a “critical-but-stable” condition, the police said Sunday.Pulluru, a student of MS at the Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro in Tennessee, was shot by an unidentified assailant around 11 p.m. Friday outside his apartment while he was coming from a store, the police said.

He lived in an apartment located across the street outside the university campus.

“There is no witness to this case. I have not been able to speak to him (Pulluru) yet,” Detective Richard Presley from the Murfreesboro Police Department told IANS.

Presley, who is investigating the case, said Pulluru was operated within about an hour of being shot. “One bullet has been recovered from his chest. His condition is critical but stable,” he said.

While the investigation to nab the assailant is on, the police said at this point of time there was no suspect. “We are looking into various possibilities.”

Pulluru hails from Hanamkonda town of Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh. He came to the US last year to pursue MS. His father P. Sudhakar works as registrar in the cooperative department while mother Arundhati is a teacher.

His family said he was shot by some African Americans when he and two of his friends returned to their apartment after the classes.

According to his uncle P. Ashok, the family received a phone call early Sunday from one of Pulluru’s friends that he was injured when some Africans opened fire at him.

Shashank’s parents and other family members were crying inconsolably after receiving the call.

“We have not received any further communication and we are anxiously waiting for some more information,” said Ashok. The family urged the Andhra Pradesh government to inquire about his condition and ensure that he gets the necessary medical treatment.

This is the second incident of an Andhra student being shot in the US in less than a month.

Arpana Jinaga, 24, who was working as software engineer in EMC Corporation in Seattle, was found murdered in her apartment in Redmond, a suburb of Seattle, early this month. An arrest is yet to be made.

The Telugu Association of North America (TANA), representing expatriate Andhra community, has expressed outrage at the increasing number of incidents involving Andhra students in the US.

In a letter early this month, TANA had sought the help of Indian Ambassador to the US Ronen Sen in bringing to justice those involved in such incidents.

Shooting at Pulluru is the seventh such incidents in about a year involving Andhra students.

T. Soumya Reddy, a post-graduate student, was killed by unidentified assailants in Chicago in September this year. Soumya, 23, was pursuing MS in electrical engineering at the Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville campus. Her cousin Vikram Reddy, 27, who was a software engineer in Chicago, was also found shot dead in the lake.

Srinivas, a PG medical student from Karimnagar, was found murdered in Pennsylvania in March. A. Kirankumar and K. Chandrasekhar Reddy, both PhD students, were shot dead in their apartment at Louisiana University in December 2007.

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