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Who killed our NILOO?’

PUBLISHED: 16:17 20 August 2008 | UPDATED: 10:03 12 August 2010

Nilanthan Murddi

Nilanthan Murddi

THE family of a teenager stabbed to death last weekend have paid tribute to a lively and family orientated young man. Nilanthan Murddi, 17, who was an A level pupil at Beckenham s Langley Park School for Girls mixed sixth- form, died during a street f

THE family of a teenager stabbed to death last weekend have paid tribute to a "lively and family orientated" young man.

Nilanthan Murddi, 17, who was an A level pupil at Beckenham's Langley Park School for Girls' mixed sixth- form, died during a street fight in Sumner Street, Croydon, during the early hours of Saturday morning.

He was the 23rd teenager to die violently in the capital this year. Police said they do not think the stabbing was gang related.

Speaking at the family home on Monday, Nilanthan's aunt, Usha Muralithanan, 48, described the 'devastating' effect of her nephew's death.

She said: "It is very bad. Words can not explain what we are feeling right now.

"He was a very lively young boy. He was family orientated and helpful. He was at school studying and wanted to help his dad build up their restaurant businesses."

Mrs Muralithanan said they had not begun to make any funeral arrangements because they are awaiting police investigation

findings.

Nilanthan's cousin, Aishwerya Manivaasinghan, said: "We were very close. I knew him since he was born, we grew up together. He really liked football and cricket, he was good at them."

Friends gathered to lay flowers and tributes at the murder scene. Rajdeep Singh, 23, was with Nilanthan when the incident happened. He said: "We are all shocked. I saw it all. He was a quiet boy who kept himself to himself, he was a good person."

Flowers lay next to a note left by his family which read: "We will always be thinking of you. You will be missed so much. You were the joker of the family and your jokes and happy memories will remain with us forever.

"You didn't deserve to leave us so early. We guess the angels needed your help more than us. Love you forever."

Graffiti on a wall in Sumner Street read: "RIP Niloo. Miss you! Fallen Soulja."

Police said it was 'vital' to trace a taxi driver, thought to be in a blue Ford Mondeo who dropped the suspect off at Sumner Street at around 1am. It is believed there was an altercation with the driver of the cab before the incident. Police are investigating allegations that the murder was racially motivated after Nilanthan's friends claimed his attacker shouted racist jibes at him just before he was killed.

Detective chief inspector Tim Grattan-Kane said: "It's not known what the argument was about either with the cab driver or the group."

The suspect was last seen walking north up London Road. He is white, in his late 20s to early 30s, 5ft 7ins tall, and of medium to stocky build. He has a pale complexion and bags around his eyes, with shaved or short cropped hair and was wearing a dark waist length jacket and jeans.

On Tuesday police arrested a 30-year-old man in Sydenham. He remains in custody at a south London police station. Contact the incident room at Sutton on 020 8721 4066 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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