London – An 11-year-old boy who was found hanged shortly after coming home from his new school may have been a victim of bullying.
Asad Khan had locked himself in his bedroom and was found after his mother forced her way inside, a family friend revealed.
However, an aunt said on Thursday that he had been seen in tears at school and she believed bullying was probably behind the tragedy. The youngster apparently took his own life at around 4pm on Wednesday, immediately after returning home from Beckfoot Upper Heaton School in Bradford.
His mother Farina Jan, 37, and father Asif Mehmood, 42, a market stallholder, met local MP Naz Shah that evening.
Baffled by their seemingly happy boy’s actions, they are understood to have voiced concern that bullying could have been a factor because of the timing, straight after school.
The Bradford West Labour MP made details of the death public on her Facebook page before police or local media broke the news.
She wrote: ‘This evening, 11-year-old Asad took his own life. Asad had just started his new school recently and bullying is something that has been mentioned.’
The boy’s aunt Rehana Bibi, 34, said: ‘It’s devastating. No words can say how shocking this news is. He was a happy, jolly boy. He was not saying what was up to his parents. Nothing seemed wrong.’
Mrs Bibi said Asad did not speak openly about being bullied but a boy in the family circle said he had seen him in school ‘standing in the corner with tears in his eyes’.
‘The boy said he wiped Asad’s tears and asked what was wrong, and Asad replied, “Them boys,”’ Bibi said. ‘I strongly believe this is bullying from school.’
A man who said he was Asad’s cousin but did not wish to be named said he thought the boy was bullied. He added: ‘He was always full of energy, he loved his science. He was just like any other 11-year-old – full of life and was ready for school.’
Outside the family home close friend Shabnam Rani, who went to hospital to comfort Asad’s parents, said: ‘The family are devastated. They told me they are not 100 percent sure if it is because of bullying. They were all in complete shock when I saw them.’
Describing what happened, she said: ‘Asad had just come home from school and he said hello to his mom before going upstairs to get changed. The door was locked and the mother had to force her way in. He was found hanging.’
Beckfoot Upper Heaton School said in a statement: ‘The school is united in its grief. All our thoughts are with Asad’s family.’ It added that it was aware of speculation about the circumstances surrounding the death of Asad, who had been doing well in lessons.
West Yorkshire Police said inquiries were continuing but the death is not believed to be suspicious.