UK police arrest fifth man, see Indian murder as hate crime
British police said Thursday they were treating the murder of an Indian student in northwest England as a hate crime, as they arrested a fifth person in connection with the shooting.
Anuj Bidve, a 23-year-old postgraduate student, was shot in the head at close range early Monday in Salford, near Manchester, while he was out with other Indian friends.
A 20-year-old man on Thursday became the fifth person to be arrested on suspicion of Bidve's murder, joining a 16-year-old, two 17-year-olds and a 19-year-old in police custody.
Chief Superintendent Kevin Mulligan said there was no evidence to suggest the murder was racially motivated, but that police were treating it as a hate crime.
"We have not established a clear motive for the senseless murder of Anuj, and there is no definitive evidence pointing to it being racially motivated," he told a press conference.
"However, we are treating this as a hate crime based on the growing perceptions within the community that it was motivated by hate."
Mulligan said that regardless of the motive, "we've got significant resources committed to it and we'll leave no stone unturned in trying to find those responsible for this awful crime".
He said police had searched a number of properties in the area, were conducting forensic and ballistic tests as well as house to house inquiries, and were trawling through CCTV footage from the night of the attack.
But he said they had yet to find the weapon, believed to be a small handgun, and appealed for local residents to help.
Police are working with the Indian High Commission to try to get some of Bidve's family over to Manchester, Mulligan said.
Bidve, from the western Indian city of Pune, was studying micro-electronics at nearby Lancaster University and had been on a short break in Manchester with eight Indian friends when he was shot.
Police said the students were walking from their hotel towards Manchester city centre when they became aware of two men on the other side of the street.
The gunman, a white male in his 20s, walked across the road and after a brief conversation with the victim produced a gun and shot him at close range, before running off. Bidve died in hospital a short time later.
© 2011 AFP