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Crimewatch Appeal For Fire Death

Police investigating the murder of Coventry woman Nasrin Akhtar are making a nationwide appeal to try to find her killers.Nasrin Akhtar

Detectives leading the inquiry will plead with witnesses to the horrific arson attack to come forward on BBC’s Crimewatch UK tomorrow night (Wednesday 22 May).

The programme will show a major police and fire service reconstruction of the circumstances leading to Mrs Akhtar’s death at her home in Queen Mary’s Road, Foleshill, on the night of Tuesday 9 / Wednesday 10 January.

The appeal will outline how fire swept through the end of terrace property and how fire crews rescued Mrs Akthar, 44, and her two children Bhaktawar, 3, and Aisha, 21 months, from the blaze – with Mrs Akthar dying shortly afterwards.

Police will also make a fresh appeal for two white men who were seen near Mrs Akthar’s home on the night of the fire and four white men seen there the night before, to come forward.

They will also ask the author of an anonymous letter sent to Chace Avenue police station a fortnight after the murder to contact police.

Det Insp Iain O’Brien, the officer leading the investigation, hopes the appeal will jog the memory of a witness with a vital clue.

Speaking at a press conference today he said:

“This was a nightmare experience for Nasrin and we have to catch the people who did it.

“She was an extremely brave woman and when I first saw the reconstruction it took my breath away.

“It is several months since this tragic incident occurred but there are still people we desperately need to trace who we are sure have vital evidence to assist the inquiry.

“We need to speak to the four men who were seen near the house the night before the murder, even if it is just to eliminate them from our enquiries.

“I am hoping that this appeal will generate some significant new information.

“Any of these people that we urgently seek can contact officers and speak to us in confidence at the incident room on 024 7653 9160.”

Footage from the programme will also be broadcast in Punjabi and Urdu in an attempt to find fresh leads amongst the multi-cultural community. A special hotline has been set up for Punjabi and Urdu speakers who have any information on 024 7653 9040.

Crimestoppers are offering a £5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.


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CWN / Crimes, Fires & Accidents / 22 May 01
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