Family heard of Salford murder on Facebook


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The Independent Online

A police chief has apologised to the family of an Indian student shot dead in Salford on Boxing Day who learnt of their son's murder on Facebook.

Anuj Bidve, 23, was shot dead at close range in Salford, Greater Manchester, in the early hours. He had been with a group of Indian friends outside a McDonald's when a gunman, believed to be white and in his 20s, opened fire.

A £50,000 reward was offered by police to find the killer. The murder is being treated as a potential race hate crime.

Yesterday, Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley confirmed the dead man's father Subhash Bidve read about the "despicable and senseless" murder on the social networking site before British police were able to contact him.

She said: "That is not the way anyone should have to find out something so devastating and we completely understand how upset the family are."

Ms Copley said a family liaison officer had made "exhaustive inquiries" to try to inform the family, who live in Pune, India, but was unable to deliver the news personally in time.

Mr Bidve's father, Subhash, told BBC Radio 5 Live he wanted his son's body repatriated to India as quickly as possible. But he added: "Nobody official from the UK Government or consulate or the Indian government called us and told us about this." Greater Manchester Police said they were working with the coroner to ensure the body of the Lancaster University student is returned soon.

Officers will also be sent to India to provide support to the family as they were unable to travel to Manchester before next week because of visa delays.

Det Chief Supt Mary Doyle, leading the inquiry, called the killing "extremely unusual, savage and motiveless". She added: "We understand the need to take whoever is responsible off the streets."

Three teenage boys, one 16 and two aged 17, arrested on suspicion of murder have been released on bail. Two men, aged 19 and 20, remain in custody.