UK cops treating Bidve killing as `hate crime`

Last Updated: Friday, December 30, 2011 - 00:47

London: A fifth youth has been arrested in
connection with the killing of Indian student Anuj Bidve in
Manchester, while the UK police on Thursday said that though there
was no evidence that the murder was racially motivated, they
are treating the incident as one "motivated by hate".

Meanwhile, Indian authorities here launched efforts to
repatriate his body back to Pune at the earliest. The police
team in Salford is liaising with the Indian high commission
and Bidve`s family in Pune. The family is expected to reach
Manchester in the next few days, when his body will be taken
to India for final rites.

A 20-year-old man was the fifth person arrested by police
which has already rounded up four people, including two
teenagers. The man is being questioned on suspicion of
murdering Bidve, who was shot in the head at close range in
an "unprovoked" attack on December 26 on Boxing Day.

Chief Superintendent Kevin Mulligan, divisional
commander for Salford, said: "We have not established a clear
motive for the senseless murder of Anuj, and there is no
definitive evidence pointing to it being racially-motivated.

However, we are treating this as a hate crime based
on the growing perceptions within the community it was
motivated by hate". The investigating team, he said, had not
recovered the murder weapon yet.

The Consulate General of India in Birmingham and the
Indian High Commission said that they were "deeply" saddened
at the "unfortunate" and tragic killing.

"The concerned authorities have also been suitably
sensitised about the family`s wish to have the dead body
repatriated to India at the earliest," the High Commission
said in a statement today.

Amid an outrage over the incident, a top British
parliamentary panel will seek a full report on the
circumstances of the attack.

Labour Party MP Keith Vaz, chairman of House of Commons
Home Affairs Committee, expressed shock over the incident.
"I will be asking for a full report on the circumstances
of his death. Overseas students need to be reassured that the
UK has taken every possible step to ensure such a tragic event
will not happen again," said Vaz.

Chief Superintendent Mulligan later said, "What I want to
stress is that regardless of the motive, it does not change
the way detectives from our Major Incident Team are
investigating this murder and from day one we have pursued
every possible line of inquiry to identify who is responsible
for this despicable crime, including CCTV trawls, detailed
forensic and ballistic investigations, witness statements and
house-to-house inquiries".

The investigating team, he said, had not recovered
the murder weapon yet. Bidve was shot from close range in the
head by a white man who reportedly asked him the time.

Mulligan urged people to contact the police if they
had any information about the incident.

He said: "Anuj`s family deserve to see his killer
brought to justice and I want people to think - what if it was
my brother, son, husband or boyfriend who simply went out with
friends and was killed? You would want justice and clearly
that is what Anuj`s family want, so please if you know where
the gun is, or you do have information, be courageous and come
forward".

Meanwhile, local residents and leaders of the
Salford City Council expressed disgust over the incident that,
they said, had brought shame to their city.

Friends of Bidve have organised a candle march at
the spot in Manchester on January 2.

Five people remain custody after being arrested for
the killing that has sent shock waves in the Indian student
community, particularly those studying in Manchester,
Lancaster and Salford.

PTI



First Published: Friday, December 30, 2011 - 00:47

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