Anuj Bidve shooting: Parents visit Salford scene

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Media captionSubhash Bidve: "This has been an exceedingly difficult journey to make"

The parents of an Indian student, shot dead in Salford on Boxing Day, have spoken of the "senseless act of violence" on a visit to the scene.

Anuj Bidve, 23, was shot in the head at close range on 26 December as he walked along Ordsall Lane with friends.

At the scene, his father Subhash Bidve and mother Yogini said it was an "exceedingly difficult visit to make".

Prime Minister David Cameron, who is on a visit to the North West, has spoken to the family on the phone.

Earlier Mr Cameron said he was willing to meet the parents if they wished.

'Absolutely horrific'

It is not clear whether there will be time for a meeting before they return to India.

The prime minister said it was "an absolutely horrific act" that had taken their son away.

"It is unacceptable to have this sort of crime going on in our country," he said.

Image caption The Bidve family said prayers for their son at the scene on Ordsall Lane

The couple said they did not blame the people of Salford.

Mr Bidve said: "The only person we blame is the person who was responsible for taking Anuj away from us in this senseless act of violence on Boxing Day morning."

He said the family had been "deeply moved" by the support people had shown them during their visit to the UK.

"We have made the journey from India in order to see Anuj, see the place where he died, and most importantly take Anuj home with us," he said.

"Whilst in England we have taken the opportunity to meet a number of other people who were involved in Anuj's life and to achieve our goal of taking Anuj back home with us as soon as possible."

Memorial ceremony

Anuj's funeral is due to take place in India on Saturday.

Image caption Anuj Bidve was studying at Lancaster University

He was taking a postgraduate degree course in micro-electronics at Lancaster University.

Vice-chancellor Prof Mark E Smith said the university had provided financial assistance to the family and would hold a memorial ceremony for Anuj later in January.

Mr Bidve father said: "We have been deeply moved and have taken comfort from the hundreds of messages we have received from the people in Salford and Lancaster and especially the Indian community and would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you'.

"We have been overwhelmed by the reaction and interest of the media both at home in India and here in the United Kingdom."

Police visit

The family lay flowers and a wreath at the scene of the shooting and prayed.

They were then taken to a meeting at Salford Town Hall, where they met civic and police leaders.

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Media captionDavid Cameron said he had "huge sympathy" for the family of Anuj Bidve

Anuj's father found out about his son's death on Facebook at home in Pune before officers in the UK were able to contact him.

Two officers from Greater Manchester Police flew to India to meet family members earlier this week.

Anuj was on a festive visit to Manchester with a group of university friends when he was shot at about 01:30 GMT. He died in hospital.

Kiaran Stapleton, 20, of Ordsall, has been charged with his murder. He is due to appear at Manchester Crown Court in March.

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