Second British traveller discovered dead in India

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The Independent Online

Police in India have begun a murder inquiry after a British holidaymaker was found hanged in jungle close to Mumbai.

Stephen Bennett, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was discovered in the forest of Roha, about 80km (50 miles) south-east of Mumbai, formerly Bombay, on 12 December.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed that four Indian men had been arrested two days later in connection with the investigation but was unable to say whether any of them had been charged. Mr Bennett, 40, who lived alone in Cheltenham, was on a one week pre-Christmas holiday when he died.

The spokeswoman said: "He was discovered in the Roha jungle in the Mumbai area. The death is being treated as murder. Mr Bennett's family has been contacted and consular assistance has been given."

One neighbour of Mr Bennett, who asked not to be named, said: "I heard a rumour that something had happened to Stephen. It's shocking. He seemed like a lovely guy and kept himself to himself."

Indian detectives are still investigating the murder of another British man whose body was discovered in November. Michael Blakey's corpse was found close to a church in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, which lies at the foot of the Himalayas and is the long-term home of the Dalai Lama.

The 23-year-old from Burnley, Lancashire, was a keen Methodist and a graduate in development studies. He had been in India for five months working with the Tong-Len Charitable Trust, helping refugees. Colleagues there said they feared he suffered a "brutal attack". Police are following up inquiries that he was the victim of a robbery.