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Nizamabad student's case to come up before US court today

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Sujith Venkatramolla
Sujith Venkatramolla

Ravi Reddy

At least three or four serious charges likely to be dropped

HYDERABAD: The crucial trial of 22-year-old engineering student of the University of Missouri Rolla from Andhra Pradesh, Sujith Venkatramolla, languishing in the Phelps County Jail is coming up before a US Court on Monday.

The student, hailing from Nizamabad district, is in police custody since February 27 for armed criminal action, resisting arrest, false report of a bomb threat, making terrorist threats, and first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer.

The NRI community, including Nizamabad Organisation, a non-profit body, has already rallied behind him petitioning the Governor, the Attorney-General, Missouri Rolla, and the Attorney-General, US for his reprieve. More than 1,635 people have signed the petition. Rayadas Manthena, representing Nizamabad Organisation, who is working along with Buchanna Gajula, Venkat Maroju, Sharat Vemula and Parmesh Bheem Reddy to secure bail for Sujith, has left for Missouri.

Speaking over phone from the US, Mr. Rayadas expressed confidence that at least three or four serious charges could be dropped. "Once this is done, it will be easier to secure bail for Sujith," he said.

He said Sujith was undergoing psychiatric assessment and counselling. A look at some of his emails sent to friends and brother in India before the incident revealed that he was `emotionally troubled and might have been suffering from chronic depression'. He had even attempted suicide on more than one occasion, Mr. Rayadas noted.

Mr. Buchanna Gajula said an American social worker, Jennifer, had volunteered to provide counselling for Sujith. Conversations with the defence team and university officials had revealed that he was calming down and started to introspect over what went wrong. "In the beginning, he was very quiet and did not allow psychiatrists to talk to him. Now he is opening up."


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