1. ITV Report

Murdered man 'died protecting his partner' from gang

Khuram Shaikh died on Christmas Day 2011 Photo: ITV Granada

A Rochdale man who was murdered while on holiday in Sri Lanka died trying to protect his partner from a group of local men who went on to brutally assault her, his family has been told.

Khuram Shaikh was shot and stabbed at a hotel in the beach resort of Tangelle on Christmas Day in 2011.

His family were originally told he was attacked trying to break up a fight between a group of men in a hotel.

Khuram's brother Nasir flew to the country last week to speak with police and local politicians about the case.

He wanted to know why – 15 months since the murder – no trial has taken place and all eight suspects have been released on bail.

During a meeting with detectives investigating the case, Nasir was shown crime scene reports. They revealed for the first time the extent of the injuries suffered by Khuram's partner. The injuries suggested she'd be severely attacked.

Investigators believe Khuram had attempted to protect her from a group of men, including a local politician with close ties to the Sri Lankan President, before being stabbed and shot dead.

The family's local MP Simon Danczuk, who accomompied Nasir on the trip to Sri Lanka, also revealed they had received evidence to suggest political influence in the case, including attempts to interfere with potenitlaly crucial DNA evidence.

Mr Danczuk said: “Our visit generated huge interest in the Sri Lankan media and it’s clear that Sri Lankan people are embarrassed about this tragedy.

“My constituent went on holiday with his partner and it ended in the ultimate nightmare. His partner was brutally raped, he was killed in cold blood and a politician with close ties to the Sri Lankan president is the chief suspect. This is a sickening case that shows the Sri Lankan Government in an appalling light.”

“It is staggering that the people who committed this awful crime are still walking the streets and that the main suspect has been accepted back into the ruling party,” he added.

“I had some very robust discussions with ministers and people from the Ministry of Justice and they were unable to supply any convincing answers as to why this case is not being progressed. I remain of the view that political interference is holding this case back in order to protect the chief suspect.”

With diplomats from other countries informing him that attacks on women were becoming more frequent in Sri Lanka, he said the British Government should follow the Canadians and boycott the Commonwealth Summit later this year.

“While we were out there we heard news reports that another politician had been arrested for attacking British tourists,” he said. “It is starting to look like the country’s politicians are out of control and this cannot go on.

"Until Sri Lanka shows it is capable of upholding the rule of law and not protecting politicians from the consequences of violent actions then I think they should rightly be seen as a Commonwealth pariah that has no credibility.”