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.