Rochdale imam 'murder': Man arrested over killing of Jalal Uddin in playground

A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder

A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering an imam as he walked home after evening prayers in Rochdale.

Jalal Uddin was found with a serious head injury in a playground shortly before 9pm on Thursday.

He had attended a local mosque before visiting a friend’s house for dinner and was believed to be taking a short cut on his way home.

Police and paramedics were called to the scene but he died of his injuries in hospital a short time later.

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Mr Uddin who was the former imam of the Jalalia Jaame Mosque

The Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim group trying to foster community cohesion, paid tribute to Mr Uddin, who was the former imam of the Jalalia Jaame Mosque.

Simon Danczuk, the MP for Rochdale, said his thoughts were with the victim, his family after the “tragic” event.

He described the area where Mr Uddin was allegedly attacked, Wardleworth, as a “very tight-knit” community and said local residents were shocked.

“People are paying their respects,” Mr Danczuk added. “He was a well-known member of the community and played an active role in the local mosque.

“Everybody needs to stay calm. We need to let the police do the work that they need to do.”

The MP urged people not to jump to conclusions about the alleged attack’s motive and allow the investigation to take its course.

Rebekah Sutcliffe, the Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, stressed that the probe was in an early stage.

“A man is in custody and has been arrested but at the moment we are keeping a completely open mind as to what the motive for this attack is,” she added.

”I think it would be unhelpful at this stage really to speculate as to what has happened.

“We really do not know what the motive for this assault was and we are really keen to understand that, and we do need people to come forward and talk to us.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or alternatively, the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Additional reporting by PA