Fresh appeal to find man after arson attack that killed three generations of Huddersfield family

What Shahid Mohammed may look like now
What Shahid Mohammed may look like now

Detectives hunting a man wanted in connection with a fire that caused the deaths of eight members of a Huddersfield family have released a digitally enhanced photo to show what he could look like today, 10 years since the blaze.

Shahid Mohammed was arrested following the house fire which led to the deaths of three generations of the Chisti family in Birkby but has remained at large since failing to answer police bail.

Six-month-old Najeebah Nawaz, two-year-old Aneesa Nawaz, three-year-old Tayyaba Bootall, five-year-old Ateeqa Nawaz, 10-year-old Rabiah Bootall aged 10, 18-year-old Muhammed Ateeq-Ur-Rehman, and 35-year-old Nafeesa Aziz all died in the fire at 40 Osborne Road on May 12, 2002, while 54-year old Zaib-U-Nisa died in hospital a week later.

Using age progression technology, an image has been created depicting what Shahid Mohammed could look like now.

The image is being used as part of a day of action where the investigation team along with neighbourhood policing team officers are taking to the streets of Kirklees to renew their appeal for information about his whereabouts.

Leaflets are being handed out, posters are being displayed and a van is travelling around showing video clips.

CrimeStoppers have also renewed their offer of a £10,000 reward for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of Shahid Mohammed.

In July 2003, three Huddersfield men - Shaied Iqbal, Shakiel Shazad Amir, and Nazar Hussain - were convicted for their part in the crime. Nazar Hussain has since been released on parole.

Detective Superintendent Lisa Griffin, of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, who is leading the investigation to find Shahid Mohammed said: “It’s essential we find Shahid Mohammed, not only to bring him to justice but also to provide some closure for the Chisti family.

“For more than a decade now they have had to live with losing their loved ones in such a horrific way and knowing that not every person connected with the fire has been brought to account.

“Using the age progression process we have been able to create an image of what Shahid Mohammed could look like now and we are asking if people have seen this man or who may know his whereabouts to get in touch.

“My investigation team with the support of local neighbourhood policing team officers are spending time in local communities across Kirklees reminding people what happened during the early hours of May 12, 2002 in an attempt trace and locate Shahid Mohammed.

“Since the fire, the family have remained dignified but have had to allow their lives to carry on despite knowing so many lives were cut short, babies should have grown up to be children, children into teenagers and teenagers into adults.

“The investigation that followed the blaze became the largest multiple murder investigation that West Yorkshire Police had handled in nearly 30 years and we remain as determined as ever to trace Shahid Mohammed.

“I strongly believe that someone in the local community knows something about Shahid Mohammed that could help the Chisti family end their pain.

“I am appealing for that person to come forward and tell us what they know about Shahid Mohammed - a man involved in mass murder. They can also contact us anonymously, via Crimestoppers.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire Mark Burns Williamson said: “Shahid Mohammed has been on the run now for more than ten years prolonging the agony of the Chisti family.

“Detectives have been hunting for him since his disappearance and believe the local community holds the key to finding him which makes the action of officers today essential.

“I would urge people to look at the age progression photo and speak to the police if they have seen Shahid Mohammed or who may know where he is.

“Eight members of the same family lost their lives in such tragic circumstances and the remaining members deserve to see all the people responsible brought to justice.”

Shafique, Hameed, Majid and Siddaqah, members of the Chisti family, said: “We have lived our life in a law abiding, respectable and peaceful manner. We have never caused offence, or done anything to harm anyone.

“The head of the family, Mr Chisti, came to England over 30 years ago, leaving his job as a teacher in Pakistan to work as an Imam in a mosque in England.

“He studied at university and became a college lecturer in the Yorkshire area. We have been brought up to respect our heritage but integrate into the community of Huddersfield and make positive contributions to the area.

“The night of May 12, 2002 changed our lives forever, our family was torn apart.

“Losing our mum, older sister, youngest brother and five nieces, is something which we will never get over. Our brother-in-law Rab Nawaz Khan lost his wife and five daughters in this fire and to this day, he remains devastated.

“Someone, somewhere knows where Shahid Mohammed is at this moment. We beg of you to come forward and help the police to bring him to justice.

“There is a reward of £10,000 offered, but we would give everything we possess to see this man captured and receive his just deserts. He is enjoying living his life, but we are trapped in the grief of knowing that our loved ones, will never again bring happiness to our lives.”

Anyone with information about Shahid Mohammed is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police on 01274 373737 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.