(Image source: news.met.police.uk)
London: Vijay Patel, a 49-year-old Indian-origin shopkeeper, was found murdered at his shop in North London. It is alleged that he was killed for refusing to serve cigarette paper to under-age UK teenagers.
The incident took place in Mill area of the city on Saturday night from where he was rushed to the St. Mary’s hospital. Patel, a father of two, died on Monday succumbing to head injuries.
As an appeal to look out for the suspects, Patel’s family has released the deceased’s dead bed photograph hooked up to a life-support machine.
A 16-year-old boy has showed up in court today and has been charged with the murder.
In a statement as quoted by NDTV the Scotland Yard said, “The Homicide and Major Crime Command continue to investigate and appeal for information about the events leading up to the incident which resulted in Patel's death. It is believed that three persons were involved in the incident”.
Detective Inspector Ian Lott, from the Metropolitan Police Homicide and Major Crime Command has described the incident as an "unprovoked spontaneous incident sparked entirely by refusal to let the suspects buy what they wanted".
"A man has lost his life for no reason other than trying to uphold the law", he added.
The police also realeased CCTV images of two male youths who were in the shop during the initial dispute and were outside at the time Vijay Patel was assaulted.
Patel, was found lying on the pavement outside his convenience store named Rota Express by the London Ambulance Service, who then hurried him to the hospital.
The Indian-origin along with family moved to London in 2006 from India. His wife, Vibha was in India visiting relatives in India when the deadly attack occurred.
"We are shocked and heartbroken. He was such a kind person. We are all very close because his children are out of the country studying," NDTV quoted victim's brother Prakash as saying.
It is alleged that a shop worker at the store had asked the youngsters to prove that they were 18, the legal age limit for purchase of tobacco and alcohol in the UK. In a statement to the media the Met police said when the teenagers could not provide any identification they became aggressive and also threatened to vandalise the shop. The shop worker sustained injuries after being punched.
Abdullah Rahimzai, the owner of the shop who was also hurt during the attack said that Vijay was a good human being and was like his right arm. He mentioned that Vijay fell unexpectedly with his head on the ground.
His friends and loved ones have started an online fundraising page for his family.