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US investigators hunt for 3 suspects

world Updated: Dec 16, 2007 01:33 IST
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While investigators are still on the lookout for the three suspects in the killing of two Indian Phd students at the Louisiana State University (LSU), Indian students at the varsity in Baton Rouge held a memorial service for the victims.

The memorial service for Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma and Kiran Kumar Allam was organised on the campus by the LSU Indian Students Association that represents around 330 Indian students at the university, the largest group of international students from a single country at LSU.

University authorities announced that the LSU Foundation has established the Komma and Allam Support Fund to financially help the students' families. Details of how people can contribute have been given on the foundation's website.

Both Komma, 31, and Allam, 33, were married. They hailed from Andhra Pradesh - Allam, doing his doctorate in chemistry, was from Kurnool and Komma, a biochemistry student, was from Karimnagar.

They were shot dead Thursday in Komma's apartment in a residential complex on the campus. The police have begun a manhunt for the three suspects who were seen leaving the area after the crime.

Speculating on the motive of the crime, LSU spokeswoman Kristine Calongne said: "Police think it was a straight home invasion".

The Indian embassy in Washington has sent First Secretary Alok Pandey and Consul KP Pillai from the Houston Consulate to Baton Rouge to establish contact with the university authorities, police department and the Indian-American community to render all possible assistance.

The Indian mission at Houston said officials established contact with the university to ascertain more details "as soon as we were made aware of this heinous crime" on the morning of December 14.

Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen has conveyed "his deepest condolences to the family members of the victims of this tragedy and hopes that the culprits will be caught and due justice meted out to them."