Man arrested for Indian student’s death in Birmingham

Hasan Suroor

Suspect’s name and nationality not disclosed

Parents keen on bringing the body to Vijayawada

LONDON: A man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a 23-year-old Indian student, Vempala Samrajya Jyothirmayi of the University of Wolverhampton, on Tuesday. She was found dead in a house in Handsworth, Birmingham.

Police said the suspect was 24 years old and was helping them with their inquiries but declined to disclose his name or nationality.

A spokesperson of the West Midlands police, which is investigating the murder, confirmed to The Hindu that another person — believed to be an Indian male student — sustained head injuries in the attack and was taken to hospital. He has since been discharged.

A local newspaper claimed that he was the same man who was later arrested on suspicion of murder, but there was no official confirmation. The exact circumstances of Jyothirmayi’s murder were not clear and police would only say that, according to a post-mortem examination, she died of head injuries.

In a statement, police said: “Police were called at 4.43 p.m. [Tuesday] following reports of a person found with serious injuries. Officers attended and a woman was confirmed dead at the scene. A 24-year-old man was today [Thursday] arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently helping the police with their enquiries. A post-mortem examination has been conducted, which established that the 23-year-old woman died as a result of head injuries. The woman was an Indian national studying in the U.K.”

Jyothirmayi, who was from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, came to the U.K. last September to do a postgraduate degree in health sciences and was reported to be sharing a house with several other students.

Body only after a week

Vijayawada Staff Reporter writes:

The body of Jyothirmayi is expected to reach Vijayawada city only after a week. Officials of the Consulate General of India at Birmingham told the Vijayawada police that the body would be sent to India only after conducting two post-mortem examinations and a forensic test. It was also confirmed that another victim in the attack was a man and his condition is said to be stable.

Even as the Andhra Pradesh government offered free air travel to the family members of the girl to leave for Birmingham for the funeral, Jyothirmayi’s parents were keen on performing her last rites in Vijayawada.

“Since many of our relatives want to have a last glimpse of Jyothirmayi, we’re requesting the government to take steps to bring the body here at the earliest,” Naga Saibaba, father of Jyothirmayi, said.

CM’s concern

Hyderabad Special Correspondent adds:

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy expressed concern over the “rigid rules” followed by the Birmingham police leading to delay in taking possession of Jyothirmayi’s body.

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