Manchester

Bolton arson attack: MP appeals over double murder

Hameeda Begum (L) and Alana Mian (R)
Image caption Hameeda Begum and her granddaughter Alana Mian died after the arson attack

A Bolton MP is to appeal to the home secretary for help in catching arsonists who killed a child and her grandmother four years ago.

Hameeda Begum, 71, and her four-year-old granddaughter Alana Mian died after a bin was set alight outside Mrs Begum's home in Great Lever in 2008.

Despite several arrests, no-one has been convicted of causing their deaths.

Yasmin Qureshi, Labour MP for Bolton South East, said she was disappointed by the lack of progress.

She told BBC Asian Network she would raise the issue with Theresa May after Parliament's summer recess.

It comes after Mrs Qureshi was contacted by Mrs Begum's husband, Mumtaz Chishty, who wanted to find out the status of the investigation.

Reward on offer

She has urged Greater Manchester Police to update Mr Chishty about the case and to see if there is any more evidence that they can uncover.

She said she was unhappy that the police did not make a fresh appeal for witnesses on the fourth anniversary of the incident last month.

Mrs Qureshi said: "The family is continuing to suffer while they wait for justice.

"I'll be writing to the home secretary to ask her to review this case and help progress the police investigation."

Mrs Begum suffered 91% burns in the fire at Little Holme Walk on 23 June 2008.

Alana died of multiple organ failure weeks later.

Image caption Yasmin Qureshi has urged police to review the case

Alana's mother Saima Mian and firefighter Steve Morris were also seriously hurt in the fire, which began in a wheelie bin pushed up against the door of the house.

Mrs Mian said: "It is really important to get justice and so finally our family can get some closure, put an end to this and so we can move on in our lives," she said.

"Until that happens, I don't think myself or anyone can move on."

Greater Manchester Police started a murder inquiry but has not charged anyone over the deaths.

Three people have been sentenced for witness intimidation in connection with the case.

The force said it was determined to find the killers and a £50,000 reward was still on offer for information which leads to a conviction.

In a statement, it said: "Four years on, we remain determined to find those responsible for the death of Hameeda and Alana.

"This incident has had a devastating effect on the family, wider community and the emergency services.

"We continue to believe that we have not been given the full story of what happened.

"The only people likely to get into trouble are the perpetrators of the original offence. Our priority is to bring the killers to justice to give some peace of mind to the family."

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