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Father assails Allston slaying inquiry

No arrests made yet in shooting

Kanagala Seshadri Rao was killed on April 19 in Allston.

Boston University

Kanagala Seshadri Rao was killed on April 19 in Allston.

The father of a Boston University graduate student who was shot and killed four months ago in Boston’s Allston neighborhood has criticized Boston police for not making an arrest in the slaying and expressed fear that the investigation was “losing momentum.”

Kanagala Sudhakar Rao, a bank manager in Bhubaneswar, India, said he has asked Indian diplomats in the United States to press the police to solve the April 19 slaying of his son Kanagala Seshadri Rao, a 24-year-old enrolled in a master’s program at the BU School of Management. No arrests have been made, though the father said he has passed clues on to the police.

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“They say simply [the] investigation is going on,” Rao said in an e-mail to The Boston Globe. “It seems they are not taking into account the clues given by me.”

Cheryl Fiandaca, Boston police spokeswoman, said Sunday that police detectives are actively investigating the case and that Commissioner Edward F. Davis would call Rao personally to give him an update.

Fiandaca said that the time it takes to make an arrest varies by case; it can take days, months, or even years.

“We understand his frustration, obviously, but he should know that the detectives are working very hard to solve this case, as they do with every other case,” she said. “They’re following up with every tip they receive.”

Mohan Nannapaneni, executive vice president of the Telugu Association of North America, a national nonprofit based in Texas that helped to return Seshadri’s body to India, said he sympathized with Rao but disagreed with his criticism of Boston police. He said that some of the father’s previous theories about his son’s death had not panned out.

“We have faith and confidence in the investigation,” said Nannapaneni, who lives in Massachusetts. “Sometimes it takes months and months and sometimes years. . . . We cannot blame the investigation.”

Police found Seshadri Rao’s body, with gunshot wounds to the head and leg, just before 3 a.m. on April 19 on the street not far from his apartment in Allston. He had been heading to a friend’s house to help her with a school assignment, according to his family.

Two weeks earlier, Rao and the same friend were mugged in nearby Ringer Park. Several men punched and kicked Rao when he refused to give them anything, and stole a laptop computer and $10 from his friend, according to Boston police.

Officials at the Indian Embassy in Washington and consulate in New York could not be reached for comment Sunday.

Maria Sacchetti can be reached at msacchetti@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @mariasacchetti.
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