Friday, 30 December 2011

Salford Murder: Family Of Anuj Bidve Learn Of His Murder On Facebook


Police have admitted that the family of an Indian student murdered in Salford on Boxing Day found out about his death on Facebook. Anuj Bidve, 23, was shot in the head at point-blank range as he walked with friends near their hotel in the Ordsall district of Salford early on December 26. His murder is being treated by detectives as a hate crime which may have been racially motivated. Anuj's father Subhash has complained that he heard about his son's death via Facebook rather than an official channel. He told Sky News: "It has been very, very difficult to understand why no authorities - from the British government, police or anyone - could give this news to me." Greater Manchester Police confirmed that "sadly that was the case" and apologised for not breaking the news in person. The family found out about the student's death on Facebook Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley, who has overall command for the operation, said: "That is not the way anyone should have to find out something so devastating and we completely understand how upset the family are." She explained that a family liaison officer had been trying to contact the family to inform them when a post was put up on the website. "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," she said. ACC Copley stressed that two officers have since been in regular contact with the family and are working on bringing them to Manchester as soon as possible. On the release of the student's body, she said: "We understand how important this is for the family and we are working closely with the coroner to ensure the family can bring Anuj's body home as soon as possible. "The body cannot be released at this stage of the investigation but we are doing everything we can to respect the family's wish." She continued: "I want to reassure the family that staff across the whole of Greater Manchester Police are working on this investigation night and day to bring those responsible for Anuj's murder to justice." That is not the way anyone should have to find out something so devastating and we completely understand how upset the family are. Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley A 19-year-old man and a 20-year-old man are still in custody as investigations continue but police have released three other teenagers, two aged 17 and one 16, pending further inquiries. Detectives are now offering a £50,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of the person responsible for the killing. The murder weapon, believed to be a small handgun, has yet to be found. Forensic and ballistics investigations are being carried out and police are trawling through CCTV along with house-to-house inquiries. According to a Facebook page set up in Mr Bidve's memory, he "was killed for not answering a simple question: 'What's the time?"'. REWARD OFFERED ON SALFORD MURDER Police have said they are treating the murder as a hate crime, although at this stage they are unsure whether it was racially motivated. The student, who arrived in the UK in September and had been studying at Lancaster University, had been with a large group of friends on a Christmas visit to Manchester. They were walking from their hotel early on Boxing Day when they became aware of two men on the other side of the street. The gunman then walked across the road, spoke briefly to Mr Bidve and then shot him at close range in the side of the head. He then ran back across the street before the pair fled. Armed response units were sent to the scene but Mr Bidve died in hospital a short time later.

Murder squad detectives today offered a £50,000 reward for information as they investigated the "horrific" murder of an Indian student blasted to death on Boxing Day.


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

The murder of the Indian student is being treated by detectives at Greater Manchester Police (GMP) as a "hate crime" which may have been racially motivated.

Today senior officers from the force announced the cash reward and said they hoped it would help get the killer gunman caught as soon as possible.

Det Chief Supt Mary Doyle, 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."

Often rewards are offered by the police weeks or months after the crime.

Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley, from GMP, speaking at a news conference at the force HQ in Manchester, said: "We are going to issue a reward here and now, for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Anuj's murder.

"That reward is £50,000.

Shoe shop chain Barratts Priceless makes 1,600 staff redundant


The high street gloom deepened on Friday as more than 1,600 workers at shoe chain Barratts Priceless were made redundant and 400 jobs were put at risk following the collapse of toy chain Hawkin's Bazaar. Barratts' administrators Deloitte said the 1,610 full- and part-time staff who manned its 371 concessions in stores such as Dorothy Perkins would be paid up until the end of Saturday. The Bradford-based shoe group collapsed this month when 170 of its 3,840 staff were laid off and 18 of its 191 stores closed. Deloitte partner Daniel Butters said it was hopeful that some retail jobs could be saved as the administrators were in "active discussions to rescue a significant part of the remaining business". The jobs blow came as restructuring specialist Zolfo Cooper was formally appointed at Hawkin's parent company Tobar, which also owns toys and children's accessories retailer Letterbox. The group, which also has a home shopping arm, employs 380 full-time staff at its 65 stores and head office in Beccles, Suffolk. The failure of Hawkin's, following the crucial Christmas trading period, is the second among retailers this week: fashion chain D2 Jeans has also folded. D2's administrator BDO immediately closed 19 of its 47 UK stores, making more than 200 employees redundant. No job losses have been announced at Hawkin's, with Zolfo Cooper saying the business would be run as a going concern. The 55 "pop-up" stores Hawkin's opened for Christmas, which employed 400 temporary staff, will close as planned. Zolfo Cooper's Peter Saville said: "Hawkin's has experienced exceptionally challenging trading conditions of late. At this stage we intend to continue to trade the component parts of the group whilst we seek a buyer for all or parts of its operations." Hawkin's was set up in 1973 and sells quirky toys, gifts, games and gadgets using the tagline "things you thought had gone forever, things you never even knew existed". Insiders suggested that a buyer would be found for at least part of the loss-making business, which at last count had debts of £42m.