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Rediff.com  » News » Anuj may have been killed for failing to tell the time: report

Anuj may have been killed for failing to tell the time: report

Last updated on: December 28, 2011 18:48 IST

Anuj Bidve, the unfortunate young man who lost his life in an "unprovoked" attack by a stranger in the United Kingdom, might have been killed after failing to tell the gunman the correct time.

The 23-year-old, from Pune, was killed on Monday and police, which has not ruled out a racist angle, has arrested four persons in connection to the case.

Bidve, who was studying at Lancaster University, was killed in the early hours of Boxing Day as he and a group of friends made their way through Salford towards Manchester  city centre.

Quoting friends of Bidve, a media report described how two men approached him and asked for time. After speaking to Bidve for a moment, one of the men was seen to pull out a handgun and shoot the student in the side of the head at point blank range, the Daily Telegraph reported.

A senior police source confirmed that Bidve had responded "politely" to the question and there was no apparent reason for the shooting.

Sheetal Patel, 25, a cake maker who went to Bidve's aid after being flagged down by his friends, said it took 25 minutes for the emergency services to arrive. "When we arrived he was still alive and I thought he was going to survive," she told the newspaper.

"He was breathing and I was holding his hand. His hand was very warm. He kept on trying to breathe. It is really weird that he is not with us any more".

On Tuesday, the family of Bidve, who was studying for a postgraduate degree in mocroelectronics, spoke of their devastation.

His brother-in-law, Rakesh Sonawane, 30, said, "Anuj had been very happy. It was his dream to go to the UK but unfortunately his dream could not last longer than three months. We have completely lost faith in everything".

The student's father, Subash, a branch manager with an energy company, left a message on his son's Facebook page calling on the UK government and the Indian high commission to speed up the process of returning his son's body to India.

Two other Facebook pages have been set up to organise peace marches in Bidve's memory on January 2. One, in Mumbai, will set off from the city's historic Gateway of India and end at the British consulate.

A second will be in Salford. Bidve, a keen Manchester United fan, had travelled to Salford from his halls of residence in Lancaster with nine friends for the Christmas break.

The group, who police said had not been drinking, were walking from their hotel to Manchester city centre at about 1.30 am when the gunman struck.

Unfamiliar with the area, they had been following a smartphone's satellite navigation system that took them through the notorious Ordsall estate.

Police said there was as yet no evidence to suggest the attack was a robbery or that the students knew the men who approached them. They are not ruling out racist motives.

After pulling the trigger, the gunman fled towards the Oxdsall estate, a few hundred yards from the scene of a shooting in September.

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