2002 Birkby House Fire


Suspect Detained in Pakistan

A man who was arrested in connection with a fire which claimed the lives of eight people in Kirklees in 2002 has been detained in a non EU country.


The 32-year-old was detained by Police in the early hours of January 22 following months of detailed enquiries.


His detention followed close work between West Yorkshire Police and local authorities as part of a 12 and half year enquiry into a house fire in Birkby, Huddersfield, which claimed the lives of five children and three adults- all members of the Chisti family.


Judicial proceedings are now underway to return him to the UK to face charges. The 32-year-old was arrested in connection with the fire by West Yorkshire Police in 2002, but failed to answer bail and has since been sought by authorities. Three Huddersfield men were tried, convicted and sentenced in 2003 for the fatal house fire. 


Detective Superintendent Lisa Griffin of West Yorkshire Police, said, “We have informed members of the Chisti family of the latest development in the case, and will continue to keep them informed throughout.


“Operation Elvington has clearly been a major and long running enquiry and I thank residents who have come forward with information over the years for their support.


“We remain utterly focussed on working with the UK Foreign Office and authorities in the nation in which the 32-year-old is currently being held to bring him back to the UK to be put before a court.”


MP for Huddersfield, Barry Sheerman, hoped that justice would finally come fro the family. “I am pleased and relieved for the family that this has finally happened. It is down to the hard work, determination and great detective work of the officers who, throughout this case, have done their best to find him.”


The victims of the fire were later named as Nafeesa Aziz, 35, and her five daughters – Tayyaba Batool, three, Rabiah Batool, 10, Ateeqa Nawaz, five, Aneesa Nawaz, two, and Najeeba Nawaz, who was six months old.


Nafeesa Aziz’s brother, Mohammed Ateeq-ur-Rehman, 18, also died in the fire and their mother, Zaib-un-Nisa, 54, died a week later in hospital after jumping from an upstairs window of the house on Osbourne Road.


In July 2003, three men, Shaied Iqbal, Shakiel Shazad Amir, and Nazar Hussain, were convicted for their part in the crime.



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