UK
22/02/2016 07:10 GMT | Updated 22/02/2016 07:59 GMT

Rochdale Imam Murder: 21-Year-Old And 17-Year-Old Arrested Over Jalal Uddin's Death

A 21-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy have been arrested on suspicion of murdering an imam in Rochdale, Greater Manchester Police has said.

Jalal Uddin, 64, was found critically injured in a children's play area on South Street in the Wardleworth area of the town just before 9pm on Thursday night.

He had been to evening prayers at a mosque before visiting a friend. He was taken to hospital but died shortly after from head injuries.

The 21-year-old and 17-year-old, who were arrested on Monday morning, are in custody and being questioned. Police have also seized a Vauxhall Astra as part of their investigation.

A 31-year-old man arrested on Friday has been released without charge and is no longer under suspicion.

imam

Jalal Uddin died after being suffering head injuries

Detective Chief Inspector Terry Crompton said: “Our investigation is continuing at a quick pace and we have carried out a significant number of enquiries since the tragic events of last Thursday to establish what happened to Jalal.

“We have got two people in custody and I hope these arrests, along with the police activity on Ramsey Street today will reassure the public of just how serious we are taking this investigation.

“We are continuing to appeal for anyone with information to come forward and following extensive analysis of CCTV, we now know that Jalal walked into the park from the South Street entrance at 8:41pm before he was then found injured seven minutes later by a member of the public.

“We are keen to speak to anyone who saw anything suspicious in the South Street area around this time, no matter how big or small you believe it may be.”

Speaking before the latest arrests, Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation said: "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.

"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."

Anyone with information should please contact officers at GMP’s Major Incident Team on 0161 856 4711 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.