Widower’s bid to find arson killers

The Bolton News: MY STORY: Mumtaz Chishti with copies of Monday’s The Bolton News which he delivered to homes in the area where he used to live MY STORY: Mumtaz Chishti with copies of Monday’s The Bolton News which he delivered to homes in the area where he used to live

A HEARTBROKEN widower has made a direct appeal for information from his neighbours when he revisited the house where his wife and granddaughter were killed in an arson attack.

A double murder inquiry was launched on June 23, 2008, following the deaths of Hameeda Begum, aged 71, and four-year-old Alana Mian following a fire at a house in Little Holme Walk, Great Lever.

They died after a blazing wheelie bin was pushed against the front door of their home. Mrs Begum’s daughter, Saima Mian, aged 26, was also seriously injured.

In The Bolton News on Monday, grandfather Mumtaz Chishti, aged 72, spoke for the first time about his grief at losing his wife and granddaughter.

He and the detectives in charge of the inquiry launched a fresh appeal for information from the community on the first anniversary of the tragedy.

Now, Mr Chishti has posted scores of copies of the newspaper containing his story through the letterboxes of his former neighbours in the hope that somebody will come forward with new information which will allow the police to bring the killers to justice. It was only the second time he has been back to the house — which now has new tenants — since the fire.

He said: “I always avoid this area. It brings back a lot of memories.”

Mr Chishti, who still lives in Bolton, was greeted by neighbours who had fond memories of him and his family.

Next door neighbour Joan Tong, aged 54, shed a tear when she remembered little Alana knocking on her front window, asking to kiss her baby grandson, Reece, who was then aged three.

“She used to come to the window and ask if she could kiss the baby boy,” said Mrs Tong.

She added: “They were brilliant neighbours, we couldn’t have asked for better. I will never forget that day.

“I am always thinking about that little girl.

“There must be someone out there who knows who did this.”

Anybody with any information should call the police on 0161 856 1722 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

A 14-year-old boy and 22-year-old man are due to answer bail on Thursday, after they were arrested on suspicion of murder.

A 24-year-old woman, a 15-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, who were arrested on suspicion of witness intimidation, have also been re-bailed to the same date.

pkeaveny@thebolton news.co.uk

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