As the parents of murdered teenager Hannah Foster begin a 12-day trip in India to raise the profile of the hunt for the prime suspect Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, it is reported here that Kohli is hiding with a Sikh religious sect in India. The claim that Kohli was with a sect in the Punjab region was reportedly made by the state’s Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh.
The 17-year-old Hannah was raped and strangled as she walked home from a night out in Southampton in March 2003. Kohli, 36, who lived in Southampton with his wife and two young children, went to India two days after Hannah’s body was found in undergrowth on the outskirts of the city. After fleeing the UK, Kohli allegedly visited his parents in Chandigarh, but later disappeared from there too.
Hannah’s parents, Trevor and Hilary Foster are expected to hold two press conferences and launch a new telephone hotline for information this week. The Fosters met the Foreign Office officers before leaving.
A cash reward of Rs 5 million has also been announced for information leading to an arrest. At a news conference held to announce the Fosters’ plans to travel to India, Mrs Foster had said: “I am just hoping that we can put ourselves forward personally, as a family, and appeal to people’s humanity.”