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Racist thugs beat me up on Metrolink tram - and 200 passengers watched and did nothing
Prakash Patel, 56, from New Moston, was on a tram with his daughter Devyani at Trafford Bar when he suffered a tirade of racist abuse followed by a sustained vicious assault. He was punched in the face and head more than 18 times and suffered two black eyes and concussion.
Today the M.E.N. joins Prakash, a bank officer in Manchester, in calling for one of the witnesses to come forward and help police convict his attackers.
Here Prakash, who has lived in Manchester for 31 years and is married to teacher Vasanti, 52, tells of his terror on the tram...
‘Nobody did anything... my daughter was the only one who helped me’WE had been to the Fulham match at Old Trafford. We go as often as we can because we are big fans, we’ve been going for 25 years and never had any trouble. There were more than 200 people just in our carriage, it was so packed you couldn’t move. About six men or seven men came on to the tram and started making indecent racist comments.
Myself and my daughter felt distressed and very uncomfortable about this so I said ‘just behave’. I said it again ‘please behave’ and that's when it started. There was one in front of me and one behind me both punching me in my face and on the back of the head. They were hitting me in the face, the eyes, the head. After two punches I think I blacked out but the carriage was so full that I was unconscious while standing up. Nobody did anything or said anything, they all just stood and watched us.
I managed to lean against the side of the tram while they got out. They told me ‘If you want to finish this get off the tram’ before they got off calmly at the G-MEX stop.
Nobody did anything to stop them or help me afterwards. My daughter was the only one who helped me. She managed to push one of the men off and then the other stopped. It seemed like the other passengers just wanted the drama.
I had concussion and I needed a CT scan and was off work for two weeks. My wife had to stay off too to look after me. Now I can’t walk outside on my own and I will never go on public transport again and I will only ever watch Manchester United in a box, never again will I sit in the stands. I lost 3kg in the two weeks after the attack.
If I could I would leave the country but my family is too established here. Perhaps if it had been two groups of men fighting each other I could understand but this was two young men attacking an older man and his young daughter. How can this happen?
I want people to know – and I want witnesses to come forward so justice can be done.
I've lost my faith in society, says daughterDevyani Patel, 21, is an estate agent who lives with her parents in New Moston.
Reliving their ordeal, she said: “I was screaming at them to stop. They were punching him over people’s heads, but nobody did anything or said anything. I was trying to pull them off my dad and shouting at them to get off my dad.
“The one facing me was just staring at me with these cold evil eyes. I am tiny and I’m a woman. I don’t understand why nobody did anything. I was just being his daughter.
“That’s what hurts the most – that nobody did anything, nobody said anything. I have lost my faith in society.
“Later at the police station, they showed us the CCTV footage. You can’t see the men but you can see all those passengers watching – it sent a shiver down my spine when I saw that. Some of them were actually jumping up to get a better view.
“Please, please, if you were on that tram come forward and speak to the police so we can find out who did this to us.”
The attack happened at Trafford Bar after Manchester United’s FA Cup clash with Fulham on January 26. The first offender is white, in his mid to late 20s, about 5ft 8in tall, with brown eyes, tanned skin and wearing a blue woollen hat with a snowflake/winter design. The second man was also white, in his mid to late 20s and said to be of a heavy build wearing a light coloured hat. Both men had local accents. Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 9168 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.