A POPULAR Indian restaurant has become the centre of an investigation after a suspicious death.
Three men were arrested on suspicion of murder after police were called to the Gandhi Tandoori in Hollow Lane, Hayling Island, in the early hours of Saturday.
A 65-year-old man from Hayling Island was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham after ambulance staff attended the scene inside the restaurant at 1am.
He later died in hospital just before 10am, with a post-mortem examination showing he had sustained a fatal head injury.
The three men taken into custody – aged 32, 34 and 37 – were released on Sunday afternoon, but they remained under police investigation last night.
Residents in Hollow Lane and the neighbouring streets told of their ‘complete shock’ after the incident – which led to a police cordon being put in place outside Gandhi Tandoori, with officers present throughout the weekend.
Charles Helps, 81, lives just metres away from the scene.
He said: ‘If this is indeed a murder and it turns out a man was attacked in a public restaurant, I think it’s absolutely disgraceful.
‘This is something that seems to be prevalent throughout the country and is getting worse.
‘It’s just awful. What sort of world are we coming to?’
Christine Fellerman, 84, lives round the corner in nearby Chichester Avenue.
She said: ‘I can’t understand it. Hayling Island is the sort of place that suits the elderly because it’s so quiet.
‘It’s so unusual to hear of something like this.
‘That restaurant has always been lovely – I’ve been associated with it since me and my late husband moved on to the Island in 1981.
‘I’m amazed to hear of something like this happening in a place like this.’
A 55-year-old man from Elm Grove, who did not want to be named, said he was ‘taken aback’ after learning of the incident.
He said: ‘I’m shocked to hear of something like this happening on Hayling Island if I’m honest.
‘My family and I use the Gandhi quite a bit and we were even planning on getting a takeaway this weekend, clearly plans changed.
‘I’m quite taken aback by it all.’
After police learned of the 65-year-old man’s death in hospital they launched a witness appeal for more information.
Officers asked for customers who dined at the restaurant on Friday night to come forward and share any information they may have.
After receiving multiple responses, police said in a statement last night: ‘We would like to thank those who dined at the Gandhi restaurant on Friday evening who have already contacted us and are asking anyone else who did go there that evening, but hasn’t been in touch, to please do so as they may have vital information.’
As investigations continued, anyone with information was asked to call the major crime department at Fratton police station on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.