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This article was first published 1 year ago  » News » Indian-origin teenage varsity student among 3 killed in UK knife attacks

Indian-origin teenage varsity student among 3 killed in UK knife attacks

By Aditi Khanna
Last updated on: June 14, 2023 19:29 IST
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An Indian-origin teenage university student described as a talented cricket and hockey player was named on Wednesday as one of three victims of a frenzied series of attacks on the streets of Nottingham, central England.

IMAGE: Police forensic officers work near a van in a cordon on the Bentinck Road following a major incident in Nottingham city centre, Nottingham, Britain, June 13, 2023. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Grace O'Malley Kumar, 19, was reportedly with fellow University of Nottingham student cricketer friend -- Barnaby Webber, also 19 -- when the as-yet-unnamed attacker is said to have fatally stabbed the duo in the early hours of Tuesday.

Nottinghamshire Police said the 31-year-old suspect, who remains in custody, then went on to stab a man in his 50s to death and also attempted to run over three people -- still in hospital -- with a van stolen from that man.


”We are keeping an ’open mind' and are working alongside Counter Terrorism Policing to establish the facts -- as we would normally do in these types of circumstances,” Kate Meynell, chief constable of Nottinghamshire Police, said in a statement.

”A dedicated team of detectives is investigating the circumstances surrounding these incidents and will continue to gather evidence over the coming days,” she said.

While the victims are yet to be formally named by the police, local media reports from Nottingham have thrown light on some information around Grace Kumar -- who is believed to be the daughter of London-based doctor of Indian origin, Dr Sanjoy Kumar. He is being dubbed a ”hero” doctor who saved the lives of some teenage stab victims in his local surgery back in 2009.

Tributes have been pouring in for Grace, who played for the England under-18s hockey team and was also a cricketer.

"We are all deeply saddened by the news of the tragic death of Grace Kumar in Nottingham on Tuesday," England Hockey, the sport's governing body, said in its tribute.

Woodford Wells Cricket Club in Essex described Grace Kumar as a "fiercely competitive, talented and dedicated cricketer".

Grace was a student at Bancroft's School in north-east London before heading to university to study medicine.

The school said: "We are desperately shocked and saddened by Grace's sudden death in these truly terrible circumstances.

"She left Bancroft's only last year and was a hugely important part of our community."

Grace was "an immensely gifted and dedicated scholar and sportswoman" who excelled in cricket and hockey.

Southgate Hockey Club described her as a "huge talent and much-loved member" of the U18s and W1s.

The London-based team tweeted: "We are shocked and devastated by the news, our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Grace's family, friends and teammates."

Woodford Wells Cricket Club in London described her as "fun, friendly and brilliant".

The club said she was a former Wells Baby Belles captain, adding she was a "fiercely competitive, talented and dedicated cricketer and hockey player".

Essex Cricket said Grace played for the county side between 2015-2019. She captained the team during her time at the club and was said to be "highly talented with the bat and ball".

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: "My thoughts are with those injured, and the family and loved ones of those who have lost their lives."

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said her thoughts were first and foremost with "all of those who've been involved, their friends, their families and their communities".

She urged anyone with any information relating to the incident to report it to the police, who she says should be allowed "time and space" to investigate.

Labour leader Keir Starmer sent his "thoughts to all those affected and to the emergency services who are responding".

Earlier, the University of Nottingham confirmed the ”sudden and unexpected death” of two of its students.

”All of us at Nottingham are deeply shocked and saddened by the deaths of two of our students following a major incident in Nottingham city centre. I know our entire university community will join me in offering our deepest condolences to their family and close friends, as well as the other victims of the incident. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this incredibly difficult time,” said Vice-Chancellor Shearer West.

”The university is supporting the students' family and friends, as well as staff and students. Our security team is working closely with Nottinghamshire Police and the authorities to support the ongoing investigation into the incident,” she said.

The family of the other student victim issued a statement to express their devastation at the ”senseless murder" of Barnaby Webber.

"A talented and passionate cricketer, who was over the moon to have made selection to his university cricket team. At 19 he was just at the start of his journey into adulthood and was developing into a wonderful young man," they said.

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Aditi Khanna in London
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