Kim Leadbeater seeks return of bodies of 3 UK nationals killed in 2002 Gujarat riots

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MP Kim Leadbeater spoke on behalf of her constituents from Batley and Spen in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England…reports Asian Lite News

During a debate on the ‘20th anniversary of the 2002 Gujarat riots’ in the UK Parliament on Wednesday, Labour Party MP Kim Leadbeater called for the repatriation of the mortal remains of three British victims of the riots. She also sought a coroner’s inquest in the UK into the circumstances of their deaths.

MP Kim Leadbeater spoke on behalf of her constituents from Batley and Spen in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England.

Foreign office minister Amanda Milling, speaking on behalf of the government, said the demand for the return of the bodies would be supported by the British government.

Reacting to these developments in the UK Parliament, the Indian High Commission in London said it “took note” of the discussion held in relation to the “tragic sequence of events that took place in India twenty years ago”. However, the families of the victims had not yet approached the Indian mission, it added.

Vishwesh Negi, Minister (Political, Press & Information) at the Indian High Commission, added, “High Commission of India would like to state that it has not so far been approached by the MP who sponsored the motion or any other participants in today’s discussion to engage on the subject – including on the specific request of the families of three British victims.”

Kim Leadbeater

She narrated, “On February 28, 2002, four tourists were on their way back after visiting the Taj Mahal, which should have been the trip of a lifetime. Their names were Shakeel and Saeed Dawood, their 18-year-old nephew Imran and their childhood friend Mohammad Aswat. Not long after they crossed the state border into Gujarat, their jeep was stopped at a roadblock. A mob encircled the vehicle, demanding to know their religion. They replied that they were Muslim and that they were British citizens on holiday. In the violence that followed, Shakeel, Saeed, Mohammad and their driver were all killed. Miraculously, Imran Dawood survived, and he is with us today. It is only through his testimony that we know the circumstances of what happened. He remembers Saeed and Shakeel pleading for their lives to be spared.”

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