British Police Take Weeks To Begin Probe Into Racist Assault Of Indian Soccer Fan


LONDON – More than one and half months after a UK-based Indian bank officer was brutally assaulted by racist thugs in a tram while returning home with his daughter after watching Manchester United’s FA Cup clash with Fulham, Manchester police has finally swung into action seeking help from the public to track down the attackers.

On January 26, Prakash Patel, 56, was punched 18 times on his face in a packed tram at Trafford Bar in front of 200 witnesses none of whom intervened or protested.

On Monday, police appealed for anyone with information to come forward. “It is an appalling indictment that in 2013, people still hold racist views and feel the need to share their abhorrent comments with others. Racism should never be tolerated in any form and the victim should be applauded for having the tenacity to challenge these people about their disgraceful behaviour. Sadly, he was attacked for simply doing the right thing,” detective constable Simon Johnson of Stretford CID said.

In an appeal to the public, he said, “This happened after the Manchester United v Fulham FA Cup match at Old Trafford, so there would have been a lot of people using that tram after the match. If you did witness what happened or suspect you know who the offenders are, then we need to speak to you.”

Patel, a die-hard Manchester United fan from New Moston, suffered two black eyes and concussion in the assault. A resident of Manchester for the last 31 years, Patel said, “We are big fans, we’ve been going to see matches for 25 years and never had any trouble.”

His 21-year-old daughter Devyani said, “I was screaming at them to stop. What hurts the most is that nobody did or said anything. I have lost my faith in society.” However, she said she didn’t want to take the issue forward.

Describing the incident, police said, “The two attackers boarded the tram at the Trafford Bar stop and started shouting generic racist abuses about people of Pakistani origin. The victim challenged the two offenders about their racist behaviour, at which point the two men punched him in the face and the back of the head several times. As a result of the attack, the victim suffered two black eyes. When the tram pulled into the G-Mex stop the two offenders calmly got off.” Both the attackers were said to be in their 20s.

“I had concussion and needed a CT scan and was off work for two weeks. Now I can’t walk outside on my own and I will never go on public transport again. I lost 3 kg in the two weeks after the attack,” said Patel, who is considering leaving Britain.