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Shot student Anuj Bidve's father urges justice


The father of an Indian engineering student shot and killed on Boxing Day said he sent his son to England because he wanted the best for him.

Subhash Bidve called for justice for his son Anuj Bidve outside Parliament after meeting with Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz.

Mr Bidve, together with Anuj's mother Yogini and brother-in-law Rakesh Sonawane, met with Mr Vaz for about 35 minutes after flying into the UK yesterday.

The family is due to return to India with Anuj's body tomorrow.

Kiaran Stapleton, 20, of Ordsall, has been charged with his murder.

Mr Bidve said: "It was really unfortunate that I lost my son. But I feel myself as a father this should not happen again because a lot of Indian students come here for their education and they go back to their own countries.

"I humbly request to you all kindly do justice for Anuj and kindly make sure that students who come here for their studies, they have their own studies and go back to their own countries.

"He studied engineering in India in an inner city. He was a very brilliant student and he was working on some core engineering, like in micro-electronic chips engineering.

"He was working on his really special projects and he was very happy staying here and doing his work. He was a very great asset not just to India but the whole globe, that was the kind of work he was doing.

"He was really straightforward, very disciplined, very softly spoken and very friendly to everyone and a very good son to me.

"I wanted to give him the best. As a father that's what I wanted."

Mr Vaz said he had passed on his condolences to the family during the meeting and updated them on contact he had received from wellwishers since the killing on Boxing Day.

He said: "There are many people who have contacted me who wish to acknowledge the memory of Anuj and express their sadness as to what has happened. I have therefore asked them to contact the family direct. They are very keen to set up a fund - not the family but the people who have contacted us - to honour the memory of Anuj and to help the family.

"I will pass all that information directly on to the family. That is at very early stages of course but it was important that the family knew about it."

Mr Vaz called on Facebook to reopen Anuj's home page at the request of his family.

He said Anuj's parents felt this was the only way many people could leave tributes and express condolences for their son, and contact them directly.

Mr Vaz said he would be contacting Facebook later today to pass on the request directly.

And Mr Vaz pledged to get a full report on the incidents surrounding the death of Mr Bidve following the completion of the criminal proceedings. He said it was needed to help the family get closure.

He said: "I have met today Mr and Mrs Bidve and their son-in-law Rakesh, who arrived yesterday from India. I have met with them at their request. They contacted me a week ago to express concerns about the events surrounding the death of their son Anuj.

"I expressed to them the very deepest condolences on my part and the many, many British people and others who have contacted us following the tragic and senseless murder of Anuj Bidve.

"As a parent myself I cannot imagine the grief that Mr and Mrs Bidve are going through.

"They want to know what happened. They had mortgaged their house, they were due to come to England in September for his ceremony of convocation.

"They never thought they would come in circumstances of this kind. What actually happened on that night? For purely legal reasons they are unable to contact obviously the people who were there on the night.

"But I have promised Mr and Mrs Bidve and their family that once the criminal proceedings have been completed that I will certainly ask for a full report and account of what happened on that night. Unless they have full information there can never be closure because they simply can't understand how this has happened."

Mr Vaz also paid tribute to the work of the police in working quickly to arrest and charge a suspect.

He said: "It is in my view an achievement. There is a date fixed for the hearing which is at the moment going to be June 25.

"I want to add my thanks to the assistant chief constable of Greater Manchester, Dawn Copley, and Mary Doyle, the investigating officer, for the work they have done and to thank the police for sending over two officers to India to explain to the family what has occurred."