Commendation for editor Solanki

An editor has received a police commendation for playing a crucial role in solving a murder that happened more than 30 years ago.

Ramniklal Solanki, editor-in-chief of the weekly Garavi Gujarat, received the award from Baroness Amos, International Development Secretary, on behalf of the Metropolitan Police’s deputy commissioner Sir Ian Blair at the GG2 Leadership and Diversity Awards in London.

Blair told the audience that without Solanki’s help, the investigation into the murder of a Gujarati woman in London would have foundered. The body of Rokaya Bibi Hazari was found in the Thames in 1971 and her murder was a mystery to the late Detective Superintendent John Swain. He covers the case in his book, Being Informed.

Solanki interviewed Hazari’s husband, Alibhai, and brother-in-law Ahmed, and the published interview provided vital clues for Swain. The pair were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder in 1972.

Asked about receiving the award, Solanki said: “It was a real surprise. I am honoured and extremely grateful. It was very nice of Sir Ian to present me with the commendation.”

The GG2 Leadership and Diversity Awards acknowledge the achievements of people from Britain’s varied ethnic communities.

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