Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Police to meet with victim's family

Anuj Bidve was shot dead in Manchester on Boxing Day
Anuj Bidve was shot dead in Manchester on Boxing Day

British police officers are to fly to India today to meet with the family of the student murdered on Boxing Day in Salford.

Anuj Bidve, 23, was blasted to death at close range by a gunman in an apparently motiveless attack in the early hours of December 26.

His father, Subhash Bidve, was critical of the British and Indian authorities as he discovered his son's death on Facebook at home in Pune, India, before police in the UK could contact him.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said a senior officer, Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson, and a specially trained family liaison officer, who deals with bereaved families, will fly out to India and on their arrival will meet Mr Bidve's family and representatives from the Indian authorities.

Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley, of GMP, said: "Our family liaison officers are in regular contact with Anuj's family but passing information and updates over the phone is not the best way to communicate in such difficult and tragic circumstances.

"It is important to me personally, and Greater Manchester Police, to have someone from the force meet with Anuj's family at the earliest opportunity and help support them at this time. Having conversations face-to-face is absolutely the right thing to do. We will of course also provide whatever support we can throughout the family's forthcoming trip to the UK."

On Friday a 19-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder was bailed until the end of March. A 20-year-old man remains in police custody for questioning. Three others, a 16-year-old boy and two 17-year-old boys were earlier released on bail pending further inquiries.

Senior officers have described the murder of Mr Bidve as "horrific" and a £50,000 reward has been put up by police to help catch the killer.

The victim was in a group of nine male and female Indian students visiting Manchester for a short break over Christmas. He was murdered around 1.30am on Boxing Day as they walked from their hotel through the inner-city Ordsall district of Salford, while heading for Manchester city centre.

The gunman, a white man in his 20s who was wearing a grey top, walked across the road and engaged the victim in a short conversation before shooting the student at close range in the side of the head. Mr Bidve died in hospital a short time later.

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