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Indians' murder in US: FBI joins probe

world Updated: Dec 16, 2007 20:57 IST
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With a four-agency taskforce finding "no leads" into the gruesome murder of two Indian students at Louisiana State University campus, the FBI has now been roped in to track down the killers while Indian diplomats visited the site and reviewed the progress of the probe.

No arrest had been made, and no suspects named by Sunday morning. But a task force of several law enforcement agencies was trying "to identify three young black men who were seen hurriedly leaving the vicinity", a Baton Rouge police department spokesman said.

"So far there is no lead yet. I have spoken to the LSU chancellor (Sean O'Keefe) and have been told the FBI is also involved in the investigations besides university and state police," Indian Consul-General here, SM Gavai told PTI.

"My deputy, KP Pillai, has met the university authorities and spouses of the two students. It is a terrible tragedy. But now our job is to render all assistance so that things move and the murderers are apprehended," Gavai said.

The families of the two students have requested the bodies to be flown to India. But autopsy procedure and embalming can take a few days, he said.

Alok Pandey, First Secretary (Counselor) from the Embassy of India in Washington, DC, and KP Pillai, Consul from the Consulate General of India in Houston, met LSU Chancellor Sean O'Keefe.

During the meeting, O'Keefe said that LSU is actively working to support the families involved and to help expedite any official matters they may encounter in trying to transport the remains of the two deceased students to India.

The diplomats contacted India's Ambassador to the United States, Ronen Sen, over phone, who expressed his gratitude to law enforcement and to LSU for all that was being done.

They also met with the task force leadership 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.

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

Meanwhile, investigators can expect more problems as students, some of whom could be potential witnesses, have started leaving the campus for the Christmas holidays after the exams ended on Saturday.

"We are up against a rapidly ticking clock in terms of identifying potential witnesses," said Baton Rouge Police chief Don Kelly, a spokesman for the task force investigating the Thursday night killings of Kiran Kumar Allam, 33, and Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma, 31, both from Andhar Pradesh.

Investigators from Louisiana State University (LSU) Police Department, Louisiana State Police, Baton Rouge Police Department and East Baton Rogue Parish Shariff's office interviewed all residents of Edward Gay Apartments where the murders took place.