Police investigating the death of Imam, Jalal Uddin, have confirmed they have arrested a 31-year-old man on suspicion of murder.
More to follow.
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Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk has paid tribute to Imam Jalal Uddin who died after being found with head injuries in Rochdale.
Describing him as a "pillar of the community" and a leader of the Bangladeshi community, Danczuk said Uddin was a "very gentle man".
Mr Danczuk Said:
"He was a well regarded, peaceful man, a very, very gentle man.
"He was well thought of in his local Mosque and among the Bangladeshi community.
"I've spoken to people today and they're all in shock and really upset.
"I send my condolences to his family."
An Imam has died from what police describe as head injuries after being found in a playground in Rochdale.
A Home Office post mortem is due to take place later today to ascertain how exactly Jalal Uddin died.
Calling for calm in the community, Rochdale Council of Mosques also issued an announcement on Facebook.
“It is really sad to learn of the death of Qari Jalal Uddin Sahib. “We ask everyone to remain calm and let the police complete their investigations. It’s best that we don’t speculate - if you have any information that will help then please contact the police on 101 or you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously.”
Both mosques near the scene remain open and Friday prayers will be held as normal.
“Please note there is heavy police, forensics on scene. So please listen to instructions/directions given when you arrive. We ask everyone to remain calm, be sensible when in the area and pray for the deceased Qari Jalal Uddin sahib.”
Police have confirmed that a major investigation has been launched after a popular Imam died from head injuries in Rochdale.
Enquiries are ongoing to formally identify the man, but he has been named locally as Jalal Uddin.
A Home Office post mortem is due to take place later today.
Detective Superintendent Jon Chadwick of GMP’s Serious Crime Division said:
“A man has sadly died after being found injured by passing members of the public, and we are now doing all we can to try and identify who he is, so that we can speak with and support this man’s family.
“Our investigation is at an early stage but we are keen to hear from anyone who may have been in the area near to where he was found in Wardleworth last night, as we work to establish how this man came to suffer his head injury.
“Likewise, if you believe you may know who this man is then please contact us.”
Superintendent Rick Jackson said:
“We know local people will be worried when they hear the news of what has happened and we have extra patrols in place to try and reassure the community.
“If you have concerns or believe you may have seen, heard or know anything that can assist this investigation then please approach one of these officers.
“There has been a lot of speculation on social media about what has happened but I would to ask that people allow us to investigate this incident and if you have information then please contact police.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or alternatively, the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Mr Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Ramadhan Foundation comments:
"The news that a popular local Imam from Rochdale was murdered last night returning from prayers at a local mosque is shocking and tragic. Whilst it is too early to speculate about the circumstances of the murder we would urge the community of Rochdale to stay united and calm.
"Qari Jalaluddin saab was on his return home from Jalali Jame Mosque when he died. We pay tribute to him and his unique contribution to our community in Rochdale. We offer our sincere condolences and prayers to his family, friends and the wider community.
"We would urge all local Mosques in Rochdale to consider emergency security precautions and facilities to help local people return home safely from the Mosque. Furthermore Mosques should also consider buddying various people together to ensure vulnerable people are supported."
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Commuters are facing miles of tailbacks on the M62 between Rochdale and Leeds after a lorry caught fire.
All lanes were closed on the eastbound carriageway at rush hour on Tuesday morning while emergency crews tackled the blaze, near junction 26 at Chain Bar in West Yorkshire.
Queues stretched from Chain Bar over the Pennines, causing long delays for motorists travelling from Manchester towards Leeds.
West Yorkshire Police confirmed that officers were called to a lorry fire on the M62 eastbound, near Chain Bar, at 6.50am on Tuesday morning.
All lanes were closed due to smoke blowing across the carriageway and remained shut after 8am.
It’s believed the driver escaped before the flames took hold of the vehicle and he was not injured.