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Service held for student shot dead

A memorial service has been held at the university of an Indian student who was shot dead in the street.

Anuj Bidve, 23, was gunned down at close range as he walked with friends in Salford, Greater Manchester, on Boxing Day.

The student was remembered by around 200 friends, tutors and officials during a service at Lancaster University, where he was studying a postgraduate qualification in micro-electronics.

During the service, at the university chaplaincy, it was confirmed the deputy vice-chancellor Professor Bob McKinlay will visit Anuj's parents next month to deliver a memorial book that was set up following the murder.

The service included tributes to the student and readings from Anuj's friends and Claire Povah, the principal of Graduate College.

Other speakers included Harsha Shukla, of Lancaster and Morecambe Hindu Society, and the Anglican Bishop of Lancaster, the Rt Rev Geoff Pearson.

Dr Shiv Pande, secretary to the Indo British Association, and Professor Mark E Smith, vice chancellor of Lancaster University, also gave addresses. The vice-chancellor also gave his thanks to the police, the people of Salford, and the university community for the way in which they responded to Anuj's murder.

Anuj, from Pune, western India, had arrived in Britain in September after completing an electronics degree at Pune University. He was heading into Manchester city centre with some friends early on Boxing Day when he was shot in the head.

Kiaran Stapleton, 20, of Ordsall, Salford, has been charged with murder and is due to appeared at Manchester Crown Court via video-link on March 20.