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5th arrest in Bidve killing; locals to join candle march

A fifth youth has been arrested by British police in connection with the killing of an Indian student in Manchester, as Indian authorities in London launched efforts to repatriate his body back to Pune at the earliest.

world Updated: Dec 29, 2011 19:11 IST

A fifth youth has been arrested by British police in connection with the killing of an Indian student in Manchester, as Indian authorities in London launched efforts to repatriate his body back to Pune at the earliest.

The 23-year old Anuj Bidve was shot dead by a gunman on Boxing Day while on a Salford street, where local residents and leaders expressed disgust over the incident.

A 20-year-old man was the fifth person arrested by police which has already rounded up four people, including two teenagers. The man is being questioned on suspicion of murdering Bidve, who was shot in the head at close range in what was described as an "unprovoked" attack on December 26.

The Indian High Commission in the UK assured all possible help in expediting the process of repatriation of Bidve's body to India.

The Consulate General of India in Birmingham and the Indian High Commission said that they were "deeply" saddened at the "unfortunate" and tragic killing.

"The concerned authorities have also been suitably sensitised about the family's wish to have the dead body repatriated to India at the earliest," the High Commission said in a statement today.

Friends of Pune-based Bidve have organised a candle light march on January 2 at the spot in Manchester where he was killed by a white man who shot him point blank in the head for what the police described as an unprovoked attack.

Amid an outrage over the incident, a top British parliamentary panel will seek a full report on the circumstances of the attack.

Labour Party MP Keith Vaz, chairman of House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, expressed shock over the incident.

"I will be asking for a full report on the circumstances of his death. Overseas students need to be reassured that the UK has taken every possible step to ensure such a tragic event will not happen again," said Vaz.

The killing sent shock waves in the Indian student community, particularly those studying in Manchester, Lancaster and Salford. Parents of Indian students studying here were also reported to be worried about their wards.

Salford's City Council leader John Merry said: "We urge the community to unite and name the gunman whose actions brought shame on the city. When I heard about it I thought it was horrendous".

He added: "My biggest concern is the impact on this young man's family. The victim and his friends were just walking into town – as many students would do at this time of the year. I feel too for the young man's friends who have witnessed this – just imagine the trauma they are going through as well".

Local residents upset over the killing have also announced their participation in the January 2 March in the Ordsall area.

Norman Owen, leader of Salford's Liberal Democrats, said: "This is a disgrace. It is heartbreaking and unbelievable. What kind of city are we living in when we have a young man walking on the street with a gun and is ready to use it".

Terming the investigation into the killing as 'fast moving', chief superintendent Kevin Mulligan, divisional commander for Salford, said: "I want to take this opportunity to praise the response of the Ordsall community who are clearly outraged by the murder of this young man and have come forward with information that is greatly assisting the investigation".