Peace walk to remember Mile End stabbing and Brick Lane nail bombing
- Credit: Tower Hamlets LGBT+
People are set to hit the streets of the East End with a “peace walk” against hate crime two months after 50-year-old Ranjith Kakanamalage was stabbed to death in Mile End Park.
Ranjith who was attacked and killed in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park on August 16.
It is being treated by detectives as a homophobic hate crime, with a witness appeal from the Met’s borough commander Marcus Barnett.
A man was arrested at the time and later released on bail without charge.
The Tower Hamlets LGBT+ Community Forum is leading the walk as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week from October 9 to 16.
“It is vital that we stand together as a community against hate crime,” the forum’s Lauren Steele said. “This is in light of the suspected homophobic attack on Ranjith.”
The Friday Peace Walk begins at Whitechapel’s Altab Ali Park at 2.30pm, passing the location in Brick Lane where one of three London nail bombs was set off in the spring of 1999 by a self-confessed racist and homophobe.
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Emdad Talukder, who was one of 13 people injured in the blast, later told the BBC: “A shard of glass hit my head. I was showered with blood.”
A homemade device stuffed inside a sports bag exploded inside a car boot, where a passerby who found it in the street had put it for safe-keeping. He moved away from the car to phone police about what he thought was lost property when the device blew up.
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The bomber was arrested a week later. Police discovered a Nazi flag on his bedroom wall and a collage of press cuttings including Emdad’s injury in Brick Lane.
“My picture was very prominent,” Emdad recalled. “I stared at it — it’s still a nightmare.”
The Peace Walk along Brick Lane on October 15 continues to Bethnal Green Road, past Weavers Field, back to Whitechapel Road, then Cambridge Heath Road heading to a Hate Crime Awareness event at St John’s Church in Bethnal Green at 3.30pm.