Calls for calm in Glasgow after boy is murdered

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The Independent Online

Police and a local MP appealed for calm in Glasgow last night after racial tensions were heightened by the abduction and murder of a 15-year-old boy by a gang believed to be Asian.

Police and a local MP appealed for calm in Glasgow last night after racial tensions were heightened by the abduction and murder of a 15-year-old boy by a gang believed to be Asian.

Kriss Donald was overpowered by a group of men and bundled into a car near his home in the Pollokshields area while he walked with an older friend on Monday.

His partly dressed and badly beaten body was found on the other side of the city early the next morning behind a Celtic supporters' club, a few hundred yards from the football club's stadium.

The teenager, who lived with his mother Angela and four siblings in the Asian and white area, may have been stabbed as well as beaten, although police yesterday refused to go into details of how he died. They said there was no reason to believe that the abduction was racially motivated, but offered no other explanation for the killing.

Mohammed Sarwar, the MP for Glasgow Govan, warned that the incident could be exploited by groups such as the British National Party. "We have to be very cautious that we don't allow the BNP and other right-wing organisations to exploit this tragedy to harm the race relations we have enjoyed over the years in Glasgow," Mr Sarwar said.

Detective Superintendent Elliot McKenzie, who is leading the investigation, described the attacks as "particularly brutal and apparently senseless". "We don't know at this stage what the motive was or why Kriss should have been targeted. There have been suggestions that Kriss was involved in a relationship with an Asian girl and that this might have had something to do with it. However, his family, who are devastated by what's happened, completely deny that suggestion," he said.

Tensions rose yesterday in Pollokshields, the home to Scotland's largest ethnic minority community for more than 40 years. About 60 police officers were in the area, appealing for help from both sides of the community, as they carried out door-to-door inquiries and sought to restore calm.

But some local people demanded to know why police were not treating the attack as racially motivated. A crowd of about 30 gathered at the spot where Kriss had been abducted, and hung flowers and football shirts on a fence.

James Boyd, a neighbour of the dead teenager, said: "Whenever a white guy hits an Asian kid, it's a racial incident. But when Asian kids attack us, it is passed off as a gang fight. They have been causing trouble for us for years and it is time that the police gave us the same protection they give them."

Several months ago, there were problems when white and Asian youths clashed in a series of tit-for-tat incidents that resulted in two firebombings of businesses, and individuals being beaten up.

Mr Sarwar said: "The situation was calm but unfortunately this has happened unexpectedly. There were problems in the past caused by only a few people who are known to the police. The problem is not racial tension but a growing youth gang culture in which one gang fights with another and makes life miserable for the whole community."

Nish Popat, who lives in the area, said: "Most people are quite happy just to get on with their own lives. The last thing we need is any outsiders trying to stir up trouble. Any trouble we have at the moment is between small groups of thugs fighting among themselves."