The killing of Kiran Kumar Allam and Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma of Louisiana State University has caused widespread concern in Andhra Pradesh — a state where many families have someone either studying or working in the US.
The two have left behind young widows. Chandrasekhar had been married barely nine months; Kiran's wife Swapna is expecting their child later this month.
Kiran's father, Allam Rajaiah, caught the first flight to US last night, and is expected to be in Louisiana on Sunday. "I cannot believe he is no more. Only the day before, he spoke to me saying everything was fine," he said, before boarding the flight.
His wife is already there: she'd gone there to be with her son and daughter-in-law for the delivery.
Chandrasekhar's brother Srinivasulu, a cloth merchant based in Kurnool, reached Hyderabad this afternoon. "Only the other day he called our mother to tell her that he'd got his PhD and has good job offers from some companies. He also mentioned he'd be shifting to a new city," Srinivasulu said. He is yet to inform his father, a heart patient.
Chief Minister Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy expressed grief and shock over the killing, and spoke to Union Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee and Indian Ambassador to the US Ronen Sen, requesting them to facilitate the transfer of the bodies to India.
Meanwhile, educational consultancy companies said that the incident is likely to impact the plans of a number of students thinking about going to the US in the near future.