UK cops resume probe into Indian man’s murder in 2003
Scotland Yard officials on Thursday resumed investigation into the murder of an Indian-origin man in 2003, Rajesh Verma, who was attacked by individuals suspected to be of east African origin in the London borough of Ealing.
Verma, who was 42 at the time, was assaulted in Acton Park by eight men on August 31, 2003, resulting in severe brain damage. He died on May 27, 2018. A special post mortem in June 2018 concluded there was a causal link between the 2003 assault and his death.
A verdict of unlawful killing was recorded at an inquest held at West London Coroners Court in November 2019. The case was classified as a murder investigation in March this year, with inquiries by homicide detectives from the Yard’s Specialist Crime Command.
A £20,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Verma’s killer. Officials distributed leaflets in Action high street in the borough as part of the resumed investigation, besides re-issuing appeals for information.
Detective chief inspector Vicky Tunstall said on Thursday: “The attack on Raj involved ferocious violence by a group of men, one of whom, stabbed him in the head with a set of garden shears found near the crime scene”.
“We believe Raj was attacked after he intervened in a dispute between one of his friends and another individual. The suspects are believed to be local to the Acton area and are likely to still be living there or have links to the area. All were described as being of East African appearance”.
“This is a shocking crime and I’m in no doubt that people will have chatted and boasted about it. I need your call to identify Raj’s killer and that’s why we are offering a reward of £20,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible”, she added.
After the 2003 attack, Verma was treated at hospital before being discharged. However, he was left with a number of ongoing health issues due to the damage caused to his brain by the stab wound to his head.
In 2015, he had a major heart attack, which resulted in a lack of oxygen to his brain that further complicated the existing damage. This rendered him unresponsive and unable to move or speak for the last 18 months of his life.
Verma’s wife, Roma Verma, said the aftermath of the attack had a huge impact on the family: “Our children were 11 and 13 when their lives were turned upside down. We chose to care for him at home in the way that he had cared for all of us”.