New York: Boston police department has got some "good leads" in the shooting of an Indian student last week and have stepped up patrol in the area where the 24-year old Odisha native was found shot in the leg and head.
K Seshadri Rao, a student at Boston University's Graduate School of Management, was found dead a mile from the campus in the early hours of April 19.
No arrests have yet been made in the case. "We have developed some good leads in the case" in the last few days, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said.
Davis said while the police is pursuing multiple leads that it has got from the public, he did not comment on whether Rao was specifically targeted or randomly shot.
The police chief said the crime occurred in an area that is relatively crime free. "This happened on a street that there is not a lot of activity on as far as crime is concerned".
According to the latest update on the Boston police's website in the case, the Homicide Unit is "actively investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident".
Boston Mayor Tom Menino expressed concern over the killing and called the investigation a "very difficult one". "Shot in the head - was it an execution, what it was I don't know yet?" Menino was quoted as saying by local news website NECN.
"I have talked to police several times about that particular student and I am very concerned about that". Rao's killing was Boston's fourth slaying in the past one week alone and police officials said some of the killings may be gang-related.
The police is also investigating if there is any connection among the four killings.
The incident has sparked concerns among the student community over the safety of the area even as condolences poured for Rao on the university's Facebook page. School of Management dean Kenneth Freeman described Rao, whom everyone fondly called 'Sesh', as a bright young man who had many friends and won the respect of faculty and staff with his "positive, can-do" attitude.
"Sesh was a wonderful student here and he was also a wonderful representative of the school of management," Freeman said.
"He was an exceptional student in the mathematical finance programme. He was also a student of the highest integrity". He added, "The School of Management community is deeply saddened by this very tragic loss".
Rao had enrolled last fall in a 17-month programme to earn a master's of science in mathematical finance. While more than 1,000 people apply from all over the world every year, only 50 make it through, Freeman said.
A Boston University spokesman said the university community is "truly and deeply" saddened by the death of Rao. "He was extremely well liked and an exceptional student in a highly competitive master's degree programme," the
Meanwhile in India, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna assured the Odisha government that the Centre will "seriously" take up the issue of Rao's murder with US officials.
A release issued by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's Office said an officer of the Indian Consulate in New York has been sent to Boston.
The Consulate has taken charge of the body and it will be sent to India shortly, it added.