The Taxi Rank Rivalry That Ended in Death ; Community Split over Whether Fight Was a Clash between Kashmiri Clans O R Because Too Many Drivers Were Chasing Too Few Customers

By Penman, Danny | The Independent (London, England), December 3, 1994 | Go to article overview
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The Taxi Rank Rivalry That Ended in Death ; Community Split over Whether Fight Was a Clash between Kashmiri Clans O R Because Too Many Drivers Were Chasing Too Few Customers


Penman, Danny, The Independent (London, England)


Leaders of Luton's Asian community were yesterday attempting to heal the rift created by the stabbing of a taxi driver on Tuesday, the second violent death of a Chawdry clan member in two years.

Shabir Khan was killed in a fight between about 20 taxi drivers - blamed by some people on clan rivalry within the Kashmiri community, and by others on too many cars chasing too few customers.

A crowd of 40 mourners gathered in pouring rain outside the home of Shabir Khan's widow to pay their respects yesterday. Many were in tears and praying for Shabir Khan.

Akbar Dad Khan, general secretary of the Islamic Cultural Society in Luton, said Tuesday's brawl was not the result of clan rivalry.

"In this Kashmiri community there are very rarely any neighbourly quarrels or crimes of a serious nature.

"Many young Asians have set up their own small businesses and the taxi trade has been an outstanding success.

"In the black [taxis] there are about 100 drivers and there are about 20 private taxi cab companies.

"It shows that the young people have gone out and put their minds to it and achieved something," Akbar Khan said.

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