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India seeks probe into murder of techie in South Africa

By M Subramoney in Durban
July 08, 2009 20:00 IST
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The Indian Mission in Johannesburg on Wednesday demanded a probe into the murder of a software engineer from Andhra Pradesh, who was attacked by unidentified assailants last week.

Kiran Buddhe, 28, a native of Arepalli village near Warangal, was on his way from work in Johannesburg last Thursday along with another professional from the state, Venkat Sridhar, when he was confronted by two armed robbers.

Four bullets hit Kiran, two in the stomach and two in the thigh. He was admitted to a government hospital at Park Town in Johannesburg, where his condition deteriorated and he succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday. His friend Sridhar is still recuperating in the hospital.

According to Indian Vice Consul Arvinda Nanwell, the mission has asked the police commissioner for a full inquiry into the matter.

"We have asked the police commissioner here to conduct a full investigation and have also taken up the matter with the government," Nanwell said. He said this was the first time that an Indian national had been killed because of violent crime in South Africa. Nanwell rejected the claims that the killing had anything to do with a racial attack.

"It was merely a robbery gone wrong. There have been minor incidents in the past but this is the first time that someone has succumbed to a violent attack," he said.

Nanwell said the police will release the body of Buddhe after completing their investigation into the matter. "This will take about three to four days. We are offering Buddhe's friends all the assistance in transporting the body back to Andhra Pradesh," he said.

Nanwell, describing the incident, said that Buddhe and Sridhar were robbed of their cell phones, laptops and wallets by the armed robbers at a parking lot in the suburb of Woodmead in Johannesburg.

The assailants also took away Sridhar's passport and air ticket to India. "After their belongings were taken, Sridhar asked them to return his passport and ticket as he had planned to leave for India soon. But the robbers took offence to this and opened fire. Seven shots were fired and Buddhe suffered serious injuries. In the incident, Sridhar was also injured," he said.

Meanwhile, in India, Warangal District Collector N Sridhar has announced a financial assistance of Rs five lakh, on behalf of the state government, for the bereaved family.

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M Subramoney in Durban
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