Three tradies killed after pay dispute
THE third victim in a London street brawl has been identified as the first images of the three friends involved in the fight emerge.
Police believe the fight involved two groups of Sikh men who knew each other.
A businessman said the three men were stabbed to death after builders got angry over money for unpaid work.
According to the man, the men had been drinking all afternoon before they spilt out of a restaurant onto the street after an argument broke out.
"They started arguing inside the restaurant and were very drunk. They had been drinking whisky for several hours. The row was all over some of the group being angry at the others over the fact that they had not been paid for a job," he said.
"The argument then continued as they came out of the restaurant. You could hear lots of screaming and shouting and then all hell broke loose, with one of the men pulling out a knife and attacking the others."
The three men have been identified as Baljit Singh, Narinder Singh and Harinder Kumar of Seven Kings in Ilford, London.
One of the men was stabbed in the neck, another was smashed in the head with a hammer and one was left for dead screaming, "They killed me, help me."
Mr Singh's brother Jasbal Singh confirmed that Narinder was a construction worker who lived in nearby Gants Hill.
Jasbal received a call and rushed to the scene when he came across the three men lying in the street, covered in blood.
"I shouted, 'Wake up, wake up', but it was no good. I had lost him. He was a great brother and a popular guy with no enemies. I am devastated," he told the Evening Standard.
Mr Kumar had moved to London from Patiala, India, and according to his brother-in-law in India, he was a very simple and religious guy.
"He can't get involved in any quarrel," the brother-in-law said.
Electrician Sukhjinder Banga told MailOnline that the trio were known in the area, but fighting over money was nothing new.
"He worked as a builder and these blokes are always getting into fights over money, it's nothing new," Mr Banga said.
Chief Superintended Stephen Clayman told reporters that the suspects and victims were all members of the Sikh community and known to each other.
"It was a horrific scene for anyone to come across, and my heart goes out to the families and those affected by it because it is unprecedented to have something like this," he said.
Detectives have arrested two men, aged 29 and 39, on suspicion of murder in connection with the deaths that have sparked further calls for action on knife crime.
The three men are London's fourth, fifth and sixth homicide victims of 2020.
Leader of Redbridge council, Jas Athwal, said he believed it was an isolated incident.
"I think tragically there are at least three families who are going to be in mourning, and this is going to last a lifetime for the people left behind," he said.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the stabbings were a reminder of the evil scourge of knife crime that plagues the UK.
"I have been working closely with senior Met Police officers, Redbridge council and the local MP on the response overnight and will do everything possible to support the local community in Seven Kings through this extremely difficult time," Mr Khan said.
He said extra police powers remained in place, and there would be an increase in funding for public services, including the police.
"The only way we will tackle violent crime for good is with laser-like focus on catching criminals by being tough on crime and, just as importantly, by addressing the underlying root causes of violence such as poverty, inequality and social alienation," he said.