Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Police in India are looking into the possibility that a Briton found hanged in the jungle may have been killed after knocking on a villager's door

BBC News:

Stephen Bennett, 40, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was found dead near the town of Roha on 12 December.

Roha police inspector Vikram Patil told BBC News Mr Bennett had called at a house in the early hours and surprised a woman, who woke up two men inside.

Police believe Mr Bennett was beaten, throttled with a sari and then hanged.

"He knocked, she panicked and woke up [two men]," Mr Patil said.

He said it was thought Mr Bennett was then beaten with sticks before being throttled and hanged from a tree.

"The investigations are continuing and police are still looking for evidence... as well as finding out the reason for Mr Bennett being there at all," the inspector added.

Mr Bennett is thought to have been on a week-long holiday in India and was due to have returned home before Christmas.

Neighbours living near his home in the St Mark's area of Cheltenham described him as a "lovely guy" who "kept himself to himself".

Roha is an industrial town 75 miles (120km) south east of Mumbai, with a population of about 90,000.

It is 20 miles (32km) from the seaside tourist destination of Murud Janjira and is served by the popular Konkan Railway service.

Mr Bennett is the second Briton to be murdered in India in less than two weeks.

Charity worker Mike Blakey, 23, from Burnley, was battered to death in the town of Dharamsala in northern India on 29 November.

His body was found hidden under a pile of stones in a stream.

Briton is found hanged in Indian jungle town

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Four held for hanging of British man in Maharashtra


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