In the chill of a Salford morning, the parents of the murdered Indian student Anuj Bidve said prayers yesterday for their son at the spot where he was shot dead on Boxing Day.
"There are no words. The world has finished for us," said his father Subhash Bidve. He and Anuj's mother Yogini had travelled 5,000 miles from their home in Pune in the Indian state of Maharashtra to bring back the promising young engineer's body.
But first they wanted to recreate his last hours. It was a journey which had taken them on Thursday to Lancaster University where Anuj Bidve had been studying microelectronics.
There they met his tutors and collected his belongings. Yesterday they visited a budget hotel in Salford where they viewed his room kept as it had been before he set out in the early hours with friends to be first in the queue at the Next sales in Manchester city centre.
Finally, arriving in a black motorcade provided by the Consulate General of India, the couple were brought to a lamp-post on the edge of a retail park. There, by the hoardings of a construction site, the 23-year-old was killed in a crime which has threatened to undermine Britain's reputation as a haven for international students.
A large media contingent then agreed to switch off their cameras and leave the Bidves to perform a religious ceremony in privacy.
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