'He took the light from our family' - Bedford murder victim Ashish Nahar's family's heartbreak

  • Ashish Nahar's parents spoke exclusively to ITV News Anglia's Ravneet Nandra

The parents of a man who was murdered in a park say his killer has "taken the light from our family".

Ashish Nahar, 25, was attacked on 29 June as he walked through Jubilee Park in Bedford with a friend, and died shortly after arriving at hospital from a stab wound through the heart.

His killer Kamil Serba was jailed in December for life with a minimum of 14-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to murder at Luton Crown Court.

Speaking exclusively to ITV News Anglia, his mother Anita Nahar said she had named her son Ashish - meaning "blessing" - as she had struggled to have children.

She described the moment she found out her son had been stabbed.

"[There was] a knock on the door from the police. The officer said to me: 'It's nothing to worry about but Ashish has been injured and we have to take you to the hospital immediately'.

"All the way I just kept on praying," she said.

Ashish Nahar was stabbed to death in June. Credit: Family photo

Mr Nahar died in hospital of his stab wounds.

His aunt Sheetal Lodhia described her nephew's killer as "a coward".

"I'm sorry but for me he's no man: he's a coward. Anyone who picks up a knife or any weapon to hurt somebody else, especially unprovoked, is a coward.

"He took the light from our family. He really, truly has."

She said her nephew - a fan of rap music, cricket, football and boxing - was also fiercely proud of his Punjabi heritage.

"He treated everybody with so much respect," she said. "Even his friends, he'd tell them 'This is my massi' - he wouldn't say this is my auntie.

"He'd teach everybody his culture and that was a big thing for him."

His grandfather Darshan Lall Gil said he could not forget his grandson, adding: "He always provided the family with happiness."

Kamil Serba was convicted of the murder of Ashish Nahar. Credit: Bedfordshire Police

Serba was caught on CCTV riding on his bike to and from the park, and also arriving back at his home on the day of the stabbing.

Clothing matching the footage was found at his home, despite his attempts to burn some items, including the mask he was wearing during the attack.

Mr Nahar's family said he had previously been sentenced for drug possession, having "[got] into the wrong crowd and served a sentence in jail but came out and turned his life around."

His mother added: "He found it very difficult with many hurdles but always spoke of how he wanted to start up something to help people who came out of prison to help them turn their life around."

Bedfordshire Police is in the midst of a countywide anti-knife crime campaign called Just Drop It, launched in November, which highlights the effect of knife crime and calls for people involved to surrender their weapons.

In the latest six-month period, more than 2,000 weapons were recovered from the county's 11 weapons bins - the second-highest total in the last five years.

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