Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

£50,000 reward over student killing

Student Anuj Bidve was shot dead in Salford and his father found out about the tragedy on Facebook

Police investigating the "horrific" Boxing Day murder of an Indian student have offered a £50,000 reward as it emerged that the victim's father learned of his son's death from Facebook.

The cash for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer of Anuj Bidve was offered in the hope that murder squad detectives will be given vital clues.

The 23-year-old was shot in the head at point-blank range as he walked with friends near their hotel in the inner-city Ordsall district of Salford, in the early hours of December 26.

His father, Subhash Bidve, who read a post on the social networking site before officers were able to get in touch with him in India to deliver the news, said: "They could have called us and told us what had happened to him."

His son's murder is being treated by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) as a "hate crime" which may have been racially motivated.

Detective Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle, who is leading the murder inquiry, said: "It is an extremely unusual, savage and motiveless attack, an absolutely horrific crime, which is why we are taking the step of issuing it (the reward) a bit earlier than we normally would.

"We absolutely understand the need to take whoever is responsible for this off the streets. That's the reason we are issuing it now at such an early stage."

Mr Bidve told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Nobody official from the UK Government or consulate or the Indian government called us and told us about this. I am really surprised because they confiscated his phone and must have known his father's or mother's number."

Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley, from GMP, said: "That is not the way anyone should have to find out something so devastating and we completely understand how upset the family are. Social networking is instantaneous and we have no control over when and what people post on such sites, but no-one should hear such tragic news in this way."

A 16-year-old boy and two 17-year-old boys arrested over the murder have been released on bail pending further inquiries. Two men, aged 19 and 20, remain in custody.

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