Family’s fight for protection

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THE family of murdered shopkeeper Gurmail Singh are preparing to present Downing Street with a petition calling for tougher sentences and greater protection for traders.

Family members are planning to travel to London to lobby the government over the next few weeks after thousands of people gave their backing for more stern sentences for people found guilty of violent offences against retailers.

The latest development came as members of Mr Singh’s Huddersfield community gathered to remember the popular shopkeeper, a year on from his murder.

His son Jas Singh Hayre, 36, has recently returned from India, where he went with his nephew, 12-year-old Amandeep, and his uncle, Ajit Hayre, to scatter his father’s ashes.

The 63-year-old shopkeeper was working alone at his business when a gang burst in on February 20 last year. He was attacked when he refused to hand over cash and cigarettes.

Customers from the Shepherd’s Arms pub opposite ran over and tried to stop the assault, but the gang escaped, taking cash, sweets and cigarettes.

Muawaz Khalid, 20, and Nabeel Shafi, 18, were jailed for a minimum of 21 years and 20 years respectively after being convicted of his murder last year.

Three other men who were acquitted of murder were jailed for their parts.

Shortly after the trial, Mr Singh’s wife, Mohinder Kaur, 66, lost her battle with cancer.

Hundreds of people remembered Mr Singh with 48 hours of prayer at the Sikh Temple in Springwood, Huddersfield over the weekend.

Sikh Temple secretary Inderpal Randhawa said Mr Singh was still deeply missed.