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Residents of Salford have attended a vigil to mark the death of Anuj Bidve.

Anuj Bidve vigil

Anuj Bidve was shot in the head early boxing day morning in Salford. Around 500 people gathered a week later to mark his death. The vigil attracted a completely mixed crowd from the local estate including children,  young teenagers, elderly residents, students and young local Asians gathered with candles.

Police say they are treating it as a hate crime as it seems the evidence of an overt racist attack is not yet convincing enough for them. However the underlying response of so many from across the community is the horror at the sheer brutality and randomness of the attack. Anuj was with a  group of Indian students walking through Salford when two white men approached and one pulled a gun shooting him in the head.

Charged with the murder, Kiaran Stapleton chose to identify himself as ‘Psycho Stapleton ’ in court yesterday. The response to the murder has  seen outrage from fellow students at the fact a crime like this could happen and the lack of understanding of the need to release the body to the family in India. Salford is no more ‘tough’ than other deprived areas savaged by the cuts, the support at the vigil lays to rest any myth that its residents are racist or that it is a ‘no go’ area for ethnic minorities.

January sees the arrival of many Indian students taking up postgraduate courses in the UK and this income is a mainstay for subsidising University funding. Withdrawal of government funding for undergraduate study means the fight for a share of the world International student market has become a much bigger priority. This murder will be playing on the minds of British politicians, not because of the terrible tragedy it is, or the racist overtones of the crime, but for the potential financial impact on Higher education.

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