Pune: Despite assurances from the UK and Indian authorities, the grieving parents of slain city student Anuj Bidve are still running from pillar to post to expedite repatriation of his body awaiting a second post mortem in Manchester where he became a victim of an apparent hate crime.
Still in a state of shock following the killing of the 23-year-old who left the city about three months back to study at Lancaster University, the Bidve family met Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan when he was in Pune on Thursday and appealed to him to intervene to speed up the procedural matters to ensure an early possession of the body for traditional last rites.
The family came to know about the tragedy through a comment posted on the Facebook by Bidve's friends in the UK.
Christmas holidays in Britain are delaying the procedural formalities in respect of the murder probe and other matters.
"We are trying to contact External Affairs Minister SM Krishna in order to expedite the proceedings to get Anuj's body back in Pune," said Rakesh Sonawane, brother-in-law of Anuj, releasing a copy of an open letter to Krishna.
Sonawane, interacting with media here last night, said that a second post mortem would be conducted on the body as per the British laws only if the Manchester Police complete the probe to file a case this week.
"As per the UK Government rules, a second post mortem of the body is mandatory before it is sent to Pune. Christmas holidays have resulted in a staff shortage and, therefore, we are requesting the Greater Manchester police and the Coroner
to complete the second post mortem, which is done by a private lab, as early as possible," Sonawane added.
Meanwhile, three teenagers arrested in connection with the murder of Indian student Anuj Bidve in the UK were on Thursday released on bail even as the police apologised to the family that it came to know about the incident not from them but from Facebook.
A 16-year-old boy and two 17-year-old boys have been released on bail, the police announced.
The UK police also offered a reward of 50,000 pounds to find those linked to the murder and said that the investigating team was putting in place plans to send officers to India to offer support to the Bidve family.
Five persons were arrested earlier this week by police on suspicion of murdering Bidve, 23, who was shot in the head in Manchester at close range in an "unprovoked" attack on December 26 on Boxing Day.
The police have also ordered another post-mortem on Anuj Bidve on January 3. They believe Bidve's killing may have been racially motivated.
MP of Indian origin Keith Vaz is taking up the case in the Home Affairs Committee of Parliament and with the police.
He said, "Certainly the circumstances of this case lead one to believe immediately that this was a hate crime.
"We have thousands of Indian students studying in the UK. This is a destination of choice for them, I want to see more coming here, they need to be reassured that this is a one-off, and the best way is a thorough investigation."
The police said the second post-mortem will be reviewed first and only then, a decision will be taken on how to take the investigations further.
Meanwhile, the Indian community in London remains in shock and grief over the gruesome incident.