30 dec 2011
After plea from family, Indian govt asks UK to release Anuj Bidve’s body
Pune: Responding to the plea by Anuj Bivde’s family, the government has requested the British authorities to release the body of the 23-year-old student who was shot dead in Manchester on Monday.
His father and brother-in-law have been granted emergency visas and are expected to leave for Manchester on Tuesday to get the body to the family home in Pune. The External Affairs Ministry will bear the travel expenses.
After his family wrote an open letter seeking his help, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna replied, saying that the coroner’s court in Manchester had been asked to speed up the process. The government had also requested the university Anuj Bidve was enrolled in to return the tuition fees to the family and the authorities had agreed, Mr Krishna said.
The police, who have arrested five persons in connection with the murder, yesterday said that they were treating it as a hate crime. Bidve, a student of Microelectronics at Lancaster University, was shot in the head at close range in an “unprovoked” attack.
In the letter to Mr Krishna, his family expressed had expressed concern over the delay in getting his body because of Christmas and New Year holidays in the UK.
“We have been told that we are required to be present in the United Kingdom to complete the procedures for handing over Anuj’s body,” said his brother-in-law Rakesh Sonawane.
Bidve was visiting Manchester along with eight other friends during the Christmas break. They were walking from their hotel in Salford towards Manchester city centre when two men came up to them. One of them took out a gun and shot Bidwe after a brief conversation, the police have said.
Messages expressing grief continued to pour in on Facebook. One said, “Can’t believe that someone so full of life had his life ruthlessly taken away from him for no mistake of his own … rest in peace.”