Cuttack, May 7: A case involving the killing of Indian student K. Seshadri Rao, who was found dead near the Boston University campus, reached Orissa High Court today with the filing of a petition seeking judicial intervention to ensure that the culprits do not go unpunished.
The 24-year-old Odisha native, a student at Boston University’s Graduate School of Management, was shot in the head and leg by unidentified assailants in the early morning of April 19. Boston police pronounced him dead at the scene. The petition was filed a few days after Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik urged the Union external affairs minister to take up the matter with the US authorities to ensure that exemplary punishment is meted out to the assailants.
Naveen’s request reportedly followed allegations by Seshadri’s father K. Sudhakar Rao that the Boston police had failed to arrest the killers despite claiming to have clues. Nationalist Lawyers’ Forum filed the petition by way of a public interest litigation (PIL) naming the principal secretaries of the Union home and external affairs ministries as parties in the case.
Secretary of the forum Nishikanta Mishra alleged: “Several incidents such as the present one (the death of K. Seshadri Rao) in foreign countries go unnoticed as the helpless parents do not get adequate response from the government of India and authorities of countries concerned do not take much interest to find out the culprits behind such crimes.”
“Consequently, the cases are being closed and the culprits go unpunished,” the PIL contends. Mishra further alleged that the government of India did not take any step after the killing of K. Seshadri Rao in Boston till Naveen requested the external affairs ministry to advise the Indian Embassy in Washington to follow up with the US authorities’ investigation in the case.
According to the petition, the government of India has remained “a silent spectator” in such incidents. “The parents of the deceased/murdered students are helpless and not in a position to pursue the matters in foreign countries,” the PIL alleged, while seeking direction to the Union ministries of external affairs and home “to furnish the details of such incidents during past ten years along with (details of) action taken”.