Tragic family give thanks to public for their support
THE family of Mohammed Aftab, who was found dead on Christmas Day, have thanked the people of Rochdale for their ‘unity and support’ following the 21-year-old’s funeral.
As the Observer reported on Saturday hundreds of mourners attended funeral prayers at the Bilal mosque and burial at Denehurst cemetery last Thursday.
The mosque was so full hundreds stood outside in the pouring rain as they paid their respects.
Among them were several of Mohammed’s friends, wearing hoodies with the words ‘RIP’ and his nickname ‘Tabi’ printed on the back.
Now the family of Mohammed, whose body was found on Dyehouse Lane, in Smallbridge, at around 8.15am on December 25, have issued a statement through Bilal mosque.
A post on the mosque’s Facebook page said: “Over 3,000 people men & women young & old people of all races & religion attended the funeral of Mohammed Aftab who recently lost his life.
“After the funeral the body of Mohammed Aftab was taken to Denehurst Cemetery by family & friends to lay him to rest in peace.
“The family would like to thank everyone who attended the funeral from up & down the country & especially the local community who in these difficult times stood by the family & supported them.
“On Behalf of the Family & Bilal Mosque we would like to thank all the Volunteers, Family & Friends and also a Massive Thank you to GMP Police, Rochdale Council, Link for Life, Arif Cash and Carry and Rochdale Football club who helped today without you it would have not been possible, it’s times likes these where we show unity and support each other through difficult times.
“Now lets pray for Mohammed Aftab that Allah SWT grants him a place in Paradise & gives the family sabar in these difficult times. Ameen.”
Police say Mohammed, an avid Arsenal fan, had suffered multiple head injuries and stab wounds to his neck.
Last week Mohammed’s family, from Belfield, spoke of their devastating loss.
In a statement issued through Greater Manchester Police they said: “There are no words to describe what has happened, what we have lost. We ask as a family why someone so vibrant and full of life has now been taken from us?
“This has been a devastating loss to all the family. You see these things happen to other people, but can never comprehend it when it happens to you.
“We all loved him from the bottom of our hearts and will miss him.”
Jason Byrnes, 26, of Waithlands Road, Newbold, has been charged with murder in connection with Mohammed’s death.
He has been remanded in custody to appear at Manchester Crown Court on March 13.
●●Hundreds of people attended the funeral of Mohammed Aftab, who was found dead on Christmas Day