Murder of Andhra students: Expat Telugus seek ambassador’s help

November 11th, 2008 - 9:45 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Nov 11 (IANS) The expatriate Telugu community in America has sought intervention of the Indian Ambassador to the US, Ronen Sen, in bringing to justice those involved in murders of half-a-dozen Andhra students in the United States in the last one year and taking steps to ensure their safety.In a petition urging the envoy to prevent the current spate of atrocities on Indian students, the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) said: “What bothers us most is the fact that the incidents are forgotten as soon as they are reported.”

Observing that with none of the family members of the deceased in the US follow up with the police as they are not here, TANA said the law enforcement agencies and foreign students of universities “tend to grow complacent” in their due diligence in pursuit of the criminals in short period of time.

“There does not seem to be a proper closure for the families either of finding out what actually happened or of seeing the criminals brought to justice and punished,” TANA interim president Jayaram Komati wrote Monday on behalf of the expatriate Telugu community in the US.

“The parents are helpless because they cannot stay here for long, and in the midst of their grief and agony, they are least likely to be thinking of the criminal justice system in America,” she said.

As such TANA has urged the Indian ambassador to set up an office in the Indian embassy in Washington and its other consulates in New York, Houston, Chicago and San Francisco, to work with the federal investigative and law enforcement agencies and to ensure that the Indian students not only get justice but also those responsible for crime against them are brought to justice.

TANA also urges the ambassador for creation of a database of Indian students in the US and develop necessary educational and advisory mechanisms to be imparted to all students going overseas.

Finally, TANA urged Sen to set up an emergency team of counsellors, who will work with university, local Indian groups as well as with next of kin to help tackle the issues related to medical, legal, financial, grief counselling and transportation / logistics of sending back the body.

Komati said the association has established “TANA Emergency Assistance Management” to help out Telugu NRIs in case of emergencies.

Aparna Jinaga, 24, was the latest of the Andhra students to be killed by an unidentified assailant in the wee hours of Nov 1 in her apartment on the outskirts of Seattle. No arrest has been made so far.

In September Soumya Reddy Tummala, a post-graduate student at Southern Illinois University and her cousin Vikram Kumar Tummala were killed in Chicago.

In March, Dr. Srinivas Akkaladevi, a post-graduate medical student was found murdered in Scranton, Pennsylvania. In December last year, Kirankumar Allam and Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma, both PhD students, were shot dead at Louisiana University.

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