A 20-year-old man has been charged by Manchester Crown Court with the murder of Lancaster postgraduate student Anuj Bidve, 23.
Kiaran Stapleton, appearing via videolink from prison on Monday 2nd January, gave his name as ‘Psycho’ Stapleton.
Anuj Bidve, from Pune, India, was studying in the Engineering Department at Lancaster University. He was spending Christmas in Manchester with friends when he was shot in the head at close range in the early hours of Boxing Day.
His family, who were visited in India by officers from Greater Manchester Police, are expected to arrive in the UK on Wednesday, reports the BBC. Mr Bidve’s father, Subhash, has criticised the authorities for failing to contact the family before they learnt of his death through Facebook.
Mr Bidve’s body is expected to be allowed to return to India when the family leave at the end of this week. However, repatriation is contingent on the completion of a second post-mortem examination to which UK law entitles the defence. This took place on Tuesday, 3rd January, according to police.
A vigil for Anuj Bidve was held at the scene in Ordsall Lane, Salford, on Monday. According to organiser Vikrant Gupta this was attended by between 400 and 500 people, largely from the local community but also from London, Manchester and Cardiff.
Gupta told SCAN that “the event was very well supported by local authorities, especially Greater Manchester Police. They did everything to support this event and to help me in organising it.”
He added that “I am sure this whole candle vigil would not only have given strength and support to Anuj’s family but also trust that we, the people in the UK, are with them at this hard time.”
Lancaster University have announced that a memorial service will take place on Saturday 21st January, and also that a memorial book set up in Graduate College will be sent to the Bidve family.
The Department of Engineering at Lancaster have also paid tribute to Mr Bidve. Speaking to the University’s website, Professor Andrew Richardson said: “Anuj was a pleasure to teach. His enthusiasm and attention to detail was part of what makes teaching in a university environment such a pleasurable experience.
“My academic colleagues and fellow PhD students will greatly miss Anuj. My heart goes out to his family and friends.”