12:10pm Monday 23rd June 2014
By Miranda Newey
A BANNER posted to celebrate a four-year-old’s holiday with her grandparents is still on the wall of a widower’s home — six years after the youngster and her grandmother were murdered in an arson attack.
The memory of little Alana Mian’s last visit from her home in Australia to her grandparents’ home in Little Holme Walk, Great Lever, remains etched in Mumtaz Chishty’s mind after the family’s lives changed forever on June 23, 2008.
A blaze caused by a wheelie bin being set on fire and deliberately pushed against the end terrace home of Mr Chishty and his wife, Hameeda Begum, ripped through the building.
Mrs Begum, aged 71, died later after suffering serious injuries. Alana died on August 1 from organ failure after inhaling large amounts of smoke.
Her mother Saima Mian, who now lives in England, survived the inferno but was badly burned.
The killer remains at large but Mr Chishty’s family still hope they will get justice.
Mr Chishty, aged 77, from Great Lever, who suffered minor injuries in the blaze, said: “It has been six years since the fire and the story is still the same but day by day my family is disheartened nobody has been caught.
“This person or these people have caused two murders and two attempted murderers.
“I just hope one day we will get justice. I have not heard from the police for two years.
“I think the person responsible might not have wanted this to happen but purposefully they set the bin alight and pushed it against the door, so even if they did not mean to kill people they were still taking the risk.”
Heroic firefighter Steve Morris suffered life changing injuries with 50 per cent burns as he made desperate attempts to rescue the family. He was unable to return to work as a firefighter.
Mr Chishty said: “My life is totally different now to what it was before the fire.
“I just go to the mosque to pray and sit at home a lot.
“I used to visit family and friends in different places in the country with my wife.
“I’m happy but inside there’s no life. Without my wife my life is a miserable life and the enjoyment in my life has gone.”
He said he and his wife never had an argument in 44 years of marriage. Mrs Begum was said to be a kind, loving woman who was respected within the community.
Alana was said to love McDonald’s ice-cream, be very close to her mother and was an intelligent youngster.
Mr Chishty said he is going to contact Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi and police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd to see if the police investigation can be furthered.
A £50,000 reward from police still stands for any information that can lead to the conviction of the person or people responsible for the fire.
Anyone with information about the crime is urged to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
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