Learnt of killing from Facebook: Bidve's father

Subhash Bidve, the Pune-based father of Indian student Anuj Bidve who was shot dead from point blank range on Boxing Day, today said he and his family learnt of the killing from Facebook rather than from the police or official sources.

Speaking to BBC from Pune, Bidve said he first became aware of his son's death when his friends posted a message on Facebook. "One of my cousins and one of my nephews, they had seen the message and they called me," he said, and added he could not understand why police had not contacted them because his number was on his son's mobile phone.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "We made contact with a family representative as soon as we could, in line with our standard procedures for informing next of kin". Bidve said: "The last four days, we have been feeling so much trauma because we are yet to know when Anuj can come back. We are really worried. All family members are worried about it. Everyone at home are shattered and waiting for his remains to do all religious things".

Asked if getting the murdered student's body repatriated was his main priority, Subhash Bidve said: "Absolutely. That is my only concern. We do not have a specific date or time frame when it can be done and do not understand it. We find it difficult and it is not accepted".

Asked if he knew the reasons behind his murder, Bidve added: "I do not know, my family do not know and the reasons for his killing, we do not know. In Pune and other places it is assumed that this could be the racism or a hate crime."

Anuj, he said, was "so humble, very brilliant, a very nice guy". As the Bidve family complete visa formalities in India to travel to Manchester to get back the body, residents of the Ordsall area continue to express their disgust at the incident that has brought the area and Salford much shame.

Flowers and messages have been placed at the site where the incident happened on Boxing Day, when a white man approach Anuj and shot him from point blank range after a "very brief" conversation. Some of the messages read: "Absolutely devastated by this horrendous act by mindless murderers. My thoughts are with Anuj's family & friends at this difficult time and I hope we can honour his family's wishes by returning Anuj's body back to them quickly.

"I have faith that the Police, with the help of the Ordsall community, will catch the killer so we can put this terrible event behind us." Steve Middleton, Salford. "Thinking of your loved ones at this tragic time. Taken too soon.. why? RIP Anuj x" Nichola, Greater Manchester.

"So shocked at wot has been done, such a waste of a life with no thought of victems family. as an Ordsall resident sickened !" "Rest in peace Anuj. Devastated about this, what a disgrace. Sending love to all this poor young man’s family and friends." Rachel, Greater Manchester.

"So sad, embarrassed to be from Ordsall may u rest in peace" Vickie, Salford. "You can tell he was a lovely man just by looking at his kind face in the photographs we've seen in the media.
Sending my love to his devastated friends and family at this terrible time. XXX" H, Greater Manchester.

"RIP - a complete waste of life. Shame on you Salford!!!" Mark Wright, Salford. "Absolutely tragic. you didn't deserve to die. Rip" Natasha, UK.

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