The grieving father of a shopkeeper stabbed to death in Rotherham cannot get home to South Yorkshire to mourn his son because he is stuck in Pakistan after his passport expired.
Parvaiz Iqbal, aged 40, was knifed at his shop in Grosvenor Road, Eastwood, on Tuesday afternoon by a man who also attacked another worker.
The man arrested on suspicion of murder is believed to be a student from Pakistan, living in Tinsley in Sheffield.
A second man injured in the horror attack – a 40 year-old from Sheffield – is in a stable condition in hospital.
Today Mohammed Mahroof, a Sheffield councillor for central ward who is a distant relative of Mr Iqbal, told The Star: “Parvaiz’s father Mohammed is currently in Pakistan.
“He knows what has happened and is very distressed, but his passport has expired and it’s Eid, and none of the Government offices are open.
“The family is trying frantically to get travel documents via the British Embassy so he can come home.”
Rotherham councillor Jahangir Akhtar said hundreds of mourners had packed into Eastwood mosque on Russell Street on Tuesday night – the start of four days of mourning - to pay their respects to Mr Iqbal and comfort his family.
Mr Iqbal’s father set up the Bismillah Food Store in the late 1970s. Bismillah is an Arabic phrase meaning ‘in the name of God’.
“His father came over to England to work in the steel industry, and set up the shop about 35 years ago when he saw a gap in the market,” he said.
“It was the first Halal butcher’s in Rotherham, and it is used by hundreds if not thousands of people.
“I first met Parvaiz when he was a lad.
“It’s a tragedy.”
Coun Mahroof said Mr Iqbal was married with three sons, one at primary school, and lived in Moorgate, Rotherham.
He said: “Parvaiz was a typical local shopkeeper. He was very friendly, always laughing and joking and had a lot of friends.
“His family were preparing to celebrate Eid – now they’ve lost a son, husband, father and brother.”