London- An Indian shopkeeper has been murdered in an “unprovoked” attack after refusing to sell a group of teenage boys cigarette papers in London.
Vijay Patel, 49, was left on life support with head injuries following the assault on Saturday night and died in hospital two days later.
A man has lost his life for no reason other than trying to uphold the law,’ police say amid hunt for killers
He worked at the Rota Express convenience shop in Mill Hill, north London, where shocked local residents paid tribute to a “lovely man who has been taken far too soon”.
Police said he had been working on Saturday night when three teenage boys came in at around 11.30pm, trying to buy items including cigarette papers, which can only be sold to over-18s.
“Due to concerns about their age they were refused service after they were unable to provide suitable identification,” a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said.
“The three were unhappy about the decision and became aggressive, threatening to vandalise the shop.
“As such Vijay and a colleague went outside after them to ensure no damage was done to the shop. Vijay was struck once by one of the teenagers causing him to fall to the floor.”
His colleague was also punched by the teenagers during the incident and suffered minor injuries.
Police who launched a murder investigation have charged a teenager over the death of a shopkeeper who was allegedly killed following a row with a group of youths over cigarette papers.
Vijay Patel, 49, a married father of two, was working at a convenience store in Mill Hill, north London, when he died on Saturday night.
Scotland Yard said a line of enquiry was that Mr Patel had allegedly been set upon by the group outside the shop after they became angry that he would not serve them cigarette papers, because he believed they were under 18 years of age.
Last night, a 16-year-old boy who was arrested as part of the investigation on Monday was charged with his murder and will appear at Willesden Magistrates’ Court this morning.
Mr Patel is believed to have suffered a serious head wound after being punched in the chest and falling to the ground.
Members of the public attempted to give him first aid before police and paramedics arrived, taking him to a hospital where he died at 7pm on Monday.
Mr Patel lived in Colindale and was married with two children.
“We can’t believe what’s happened,” his brother, Prakash Patel, told the Daily Mail. “He always wanted to help and do the right thing. He would save money and send it back to India to fund his children’s education and our parents.”
Jagmeet Sethi, who has worked in the convenience shop alongside Mr Patel for almost a year, said he struggled to believe his friend could “lose his life only for one Rizla, nothing else”.
“It’s very hard to accept this,” the 27-year-old said. “He’s not here anymore. It is very difficult.”
Mr Sethi said he was still expecting his colleague to walk through the shop door, describing how he built a reputation among customers as a “very helpful, quiet, down-to-earth” man who would help them with their bags.
“He was a very nice guy, a good-natured guy,” he added. “It is unacceptable to us that he is no more.”
Amjad Salaam, 72, who works at a nearby dry cleaners, described Mr Patel as an “honest and hard-working” man who would come to his shop to say hello from time to time.
news courtesy- Independent UK