Opinion: ‘Why This Secrecy’ in Homicide of Indian Mom and Son?

Hanumantha Rao Narra (left). His wife, Sasikala Narra, and son, Anish Narra. (Photo via News India Times)

On March 23, Hanumantha Rao Narra found his wife Sasikala Narra, 38, and son Anish Narra, 6, in their apartment in Maple Shade, New Jersey (about 95 miles from NYC), fatally stabbed in “perhaps the most vicious murder ever to happen in the Indian American community in the U.S.,” writes Sujeet Rajan in a piece for News India Times. Four months later, there has been no update in the case and seemingly very little has been shared on the homicide with the public.

The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office had requested assistance from the FBI. But, Rajan writes, there’s no calls seeking information on the FBI’s website and a call rerouted to its Newark, NJ, field office was not returned.

Question is, if the FBI is indeed part of the investigation in the double homicide, why this secrecy finding a killer on the loose? Why not involve and seek the help of the public in nabbing the brutal murderer?

Disturbing also is the lackadaisical approach to the case by the local law enforcement in New Jersey, with the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office maintaining a stock, robotic answer almost from the beginning of the investigation, since they took over the investigation from the Maple Shade Police Department.

Furthermore, the prosecutors’ office declared early on in the investigation that the murders were not a hate crime but they did not explain how they drew that conclusion.

Question is, if the Prosecutor’s office is so sure that this is not a race or hate-related crime, then why not divulge the reasoning behind that statement: what led them to reach that conclusion? Do they think the murderer is of Indian-origin? Is there a task force set up to investigate the case?

What also troubles Rajan is the silence on the part of the Indian-American community.

It’s also disturbing that since the onset of this case, only the Telugu Association of North America (TANA), seems to be the one organization who have taken active interest in the case, prodded the authorities for more aggressive investigation, helped raise money for sending the bodies back to India, because the victims were of Telugu-origin.

Where are all the other big Indian American organizations when the community needs them to be the voice of the community? Why can’t the big organizations come together and meet the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, urge him to take action in the case, speed up the investigation, demand answers from him?

For more on the Narra case and other unsolved deaths of Indian Americans, read Rajan’s full piece at News India Times.

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