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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 July, 2004, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
India trip 'exceeded wildest dreams'
Trevor Foster
Mr Foster said the Indian people showed them support and sympathy
The parents of murdered student Hannah Foster have said their trip to India "exceeded their wildest dreams" as police arrested the main suspect.

Trevor and Hilary Foster have just returned from the country, where they travelled to raise media interest in the hunt for Maninder Pal Singh Kohli.

The 36-year-old went to India in March 2003, two days after Hannah's body was found in Southampton.

Mr Foster said the Indian people had given the pair "support and sympathy".

The couple arrived back from their 10-day trip on Wednesday, having travelled to the country in the hope of providing a stalled investigation with fresh impetus.

Mr Foster, 53, said the experience had left them physically and emotionally drained.

Hannah Foster
Hannah had won two places at university to study medicine

He said: "News of the arrest of Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, the prime suspect for our daughter's murder, left us enormously pleased and relieved and fully vindicated our decision to go to India in the first place.

"We thought a realistic expectation would be that our hotline initiative would elicit some information that would move the investigation forward.

"In the event, the reaction to our visit exceeded even our wildest dreams."

Mr Kohli was arrested five days after the Fosters arrived in the country.

He was found at a motel in the eastern state of West Bengal, near the Nepalese border, following a tip-off.

Mrs Foster, 47, said the couple had gained a great respect for the Indian public.

Maninder Pal Singh Kohli in Kalimpong
Maninder Pal Singh Kohli appeared in front of the media in Kalimpong

She said: "I think the Indian people are very family-orientated and they just identified with our tragedy and were just enthusiastic and keen to find the prime suspect.

"The Indian people just took us into their hearts."

Proceedings to extradite Mr Kohli are currently underway but could take anything from six to 12 months.

Detectives working on the case say Mr Kohli is currently under arrest on a warrant sworn out at Southampton Magistrates' Court, in relation to alleged offences of kidnap, rape and murder.

He appeared in court in Kalimpong, West Bengal, on 16 July and was remanded in custody until 29 July.

Mr Kohli lived in Southampton with his wife and two young children.

A-level student Hannah, who had won two places at university to study medicine, was last seen by a friend half-a-mile from her home in Portswood, Southampton, after a night out.



LINKS TO MORE HAMPSHIRE/DORSET STORIES


 

SEE ALSO:
Indian FBI handed Hannah suspect
17 Jul 04  |  Hampshire/Dorset
Hannah police start extradition
16 Jul 04  |  South Asia
Hannah Foster murder suspect held
15 Jul 04  |  South Asia


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