The UK’s Metropolitan Police are on Thursday appealing for information to piece together the last movements of Gurashman Singh Bhatia, a missing Indian student whose body was found by police divers in a lake in Canary Wharf area of east London.
The Met Police said the 23-year-old had been reported missing after a night out with friends last Thursday, December 14.
Officers went on to carry out “extensive enquiries”, including viewing CCTV, speaking to witnesses and analysing phone and financial data. Water searches were also carried out in the area and a body believed to be that of Bhatia was recovered by police divers in the water in South Quay.
“Gurashman’s death is being treated as unexpected, and while there is nothing to suggest it was suspicious, we will ensure our investigation is as thorough as possible to confirm this,” said Detective Chief Superintendent (DCI) James Conway, responsible for local policing in the Tower Hamlets area of Canary Wharf.
“Because of this, we are releasing a CCTV image of Gurashman that was taken before his disappearance and would like anyone who may have seen him in the Marsh Wall area on the evening of Thursday, 14 December and in the early hours of Friday, 15 December, to contact us,” he said.
Conway added that this was an “extremely tragic outcome” to their missing persons inquiry and not the news he was hoping to give to Gurashman’s family and friends.
“I send them my deepest condolences,” he said.
The police noted that although formal identification has not yet taken place, Gurashman’s family has been informed. Meanwhile, anyone with information about Gurashman’s movements has been asked to call 101 quoting the reference CAD5787/15Dec.
There had been widespread social media appeals by the Indian student community in the UK after the Sikh student was reported missing.
“What a tragic, heartbreaking loss of one of our beautiful lives. I had spoken to his father and friends only some days ago when we first found out he was missing and had been praying for his safe discovery,” said Sanam Arora, Chair of the National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) UK.
“Our thoughts are with his family & friends. Requesting all to please say a prayer for the departed soul,” she said.
Bhatia was pursuing an MSc in Digital Finance at Loughborough University. After he went missing last week, his case was also flagged with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar by BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa.
“Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of G.S. Bhatia, a Loughborough University student who was missing since Dec 15th. Our thoughts are with the family and friends during this difficult time. May Waheguru give strength to his parents mourning this profound loss,” Sirsa said in a social media post.
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