Up to a thousand people attended a candlelit vigil in Salford on Monday, demonstrating united opposition to the murder of Anuj Bidve.
“We are local people and we are saddened and sickened at this senseless act,” said a letter left with flowers at the site where Anuj was murdered. “We send our condolences to your family and friends and hope you do not blame us all.”
Anuj was shot in the head on Boxing Day as he walked from a hotel in Salford into Manchester with his friends from Lancaster University.
Sushant Gupta, 21, a student at Aston University and a friend of Anuj, organised the vigil. “Everyone has turned out today, not just the Indian community,” he said.
The police, who are treating the murder as a hate crime, have not ruled out that it was “racially motivated”. A 20 year old man from Salford has been charged with Anuj’s murder.
Speaking at the vigil, Unite Against Fascism joint secretary Weyman Bennett said, “It is important we make a stand against the murder of a young Indian student.
“It was good to stand in solidarity with the people of Salford and Manchester. We must make sure this never happens again.”
In a message to the media Sushant said, “There is an element of society we have to send a message to—you can not get away with this. I do hope that justice will be done.”