World Bulletin / News Desk
A Muslim pensioner attacked by a schoolboys group in front of his three-year-old granddaughter, Marian, died on Monday in London, British reports said.
Former care worker Ekram Haque, 67, and Marian was waiting for a lift outside a mosque in Tooting when a group of teenagers ran up behind him and clubbed him around the head a week ago.
Haque had remained on a ventilator in hospital during one week.
Police confirmed they were treating the attack as racially motivated and have linked it to another attack on elderly Asians, according to British newspapers.
Scotland Yard formally launched a murder inquiry after Mr Haque passed away at St George's Hospital, Tooting, where he had been on a life-support machine since the attack.
Haque was attacked, on bank holiday Monday, about 9.50pm outside the Idara-e-Jafferiya mosque in Church Lane, Tooting. Two other men were also assaulted.
Police are linking the assault on the retired care worker to a series of other attacks on elderly Asian people near the mosque.
Four boys, aged 12, 15 and two 14 year olds, have been charged with conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm (GBH).
Two teenagers aged 14 and 15 have appeared in court charged with committing GBH with intent on Mr Haque.
The pair and another boy, aged 12, are also charged with conspiracy to commit GBH and two counts of assault on victims in their 40s and 70s.
The boys will appear at Sutton Youth Court on Tuesday.
His granddaughter has been left 'very shaken and disturbed', said her father, Mr Haque's son Arfan.
"She has given a vivid account of what happened."
Arfan, a consumer law advisor, was quoted as saying that it was an attack on a defenceless man outside a home of god.
Last Mod: 08 Eylül 2009, 13:36
He also called the Muslim community for calm, saying that "I want everyone to respect their religion. The Koran doesn't condone revenge attacks," he said.
A police source said: "We are treating these attacks as racially aggravated. I find it quite distressing how children can inflict terrible injuries on a man like that. Especially with a three-and-a-half-year-old, who was with her grandfather, watching on."
Mr Haque had planned to take his granddaughter on holiday to Pakistan and Australia and was devoted to his community.
Friends described Mr Haque as a very religious "gentle giant" who had been involved with the mosque for 25 years.
Mr Haque was born in Calcutta and moved to Belfast, where he met his son's mother, in 1972. The couple moved with their young son to London in the early 80s.
Mr Haque was working as a warden in a care home for elderly Asians, until November when he retired.