BY RAVI R. PONANGI
An Indian engineer, Sudheer Kumar Rudraraju, was found dead in his house at 4100 block of Magnolia Glen Walk in Norcross, Georgia recently under suspicious circumstances. Rudraraju, 31, was a quality assurance engineer with Atlanta Toyota Corporation. He lived alone during the time of his death. Gwinnet county police has termed the death a homicide.
According to the police, a friend of the victim contacted them on Tuesday, February 03, 2009 afternoon and wanted the police to check on Rudraraju as they had not heard from him in the past few days. Upon entering the house, the police discovered the body of the deceased on the floor, down stairs. Police say it was unclear how long the victim had been dead before officers found his body. The medical examiner’s office has not yet determined the cause of death.
Rudraraju hails from Gudimula village, near Rajahmundry of East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh. His parents now live in Hyderabad. After completing his B. Tech in Bangalore, Rudraraju came to the US to pursue higher studies. After completing his MS in 2003 from Southern Tech, he joined Toyota Automotive Group in 2004 as an engineer.
While the cause of death is still unknown, as per initial information, it appears that he died in his home on Sunday, Feb 1st, 2009 on the night of Super Bowl game. Sudheer’s friends called him on his cell phone but there was no response.
On Tuesday morning, they called his work place, Toyota Automotive Group to see whether he had been to work and discovered that Sudheer didn't show up to work on both Monday and Tuesday. They, then, went to Sudheer’s home and to their surprise found his car parked outside his home. Immediately, they contacted the police. When the cops opened the door, they found Sudheer’s dead body.
On receiving the information, the consul general of India at Houston deputed his vice consul V. K. Azad to Atlanta to expedite the process of sending the body to India at the earliest. Azad is assisting the team of volunteers from TAMA who are working on logistics to complete the paper work and the formalities to send the body to Hyderabad from Atlanta. He also attended a condolence meeting convened by the community on Thursday, February 05 in Global Mall, Norcross. Several representatives from local temples, IACA, Gandhi foundation, Tamil Sangham, VHP of America and several others came together and expressed shock and appealed to the law enforcement authorities to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.
Speaker after speaker appreciated the efforts of the members of TAMA in alerting the community on receiving the information of this heinous crime. The community has passed certain resolutions unanimously proposed by noted community member Subash Razdan, and sent them to the concerned authorities. The community appealed that the police department should not leave no stone unturned in its investigation to get to the bottom of the cause for death with transparency and integrity. They also appealed that police department needs to take extra precautionary measures under the current economic situation to control criminal activities against innocent citizens in society.
Community member Narender Reddy, while addressing the gathering, drew attention to certain media reports that every Indian in America is being killed. He said: You know for fact that it is not true and such incidents happen any time any where in the world. It’s unfortunate. This type of news media reports gives lots of tension to our parents back in India.
He appealed to the gathering to educate and explain to parents that these news reports are not correct and that we are safe here in America.
Reddy helped the community to get things moving with the authorities. He told one of the officers about the sentiments of Indians- that they would not touch food until and unless they see the body.