Date: 31 Dec 2012
Place: Bridgewater Canal, Trafford
Souvik Pal was found dead in a canal.
He had been out clubbing on New Year’s Eve when he vanished. He was found 22 days later in the Bridgewater Canal about 50ft away from the nightclub. His body was discovered by police divers. He had been to the New Year’s Eve event at the Warehouse Project which was described as one of the biggest New Year's Eve parties in the country.
CCTV showed him walking with an unknown man from the Warehouse Project club towards the canal. They were seen crossing a bridge and then one of them was seen climbing a railing, but only one of them was seen to return.
It was thought that he might have been pushed into the canal.
It was suggested that he was the victim of a serial killer called The Pusher who was said to be responsible for pushing a large number of people, about 85, into the waterways around Manchester since 2008.
However, the police said that The Pusher was a myth and that there was no evidence at all to substantiate it.
The police said that they found CCTV footage that showed a man that they said looked like Souvik Pal climbing over a fence near the canal to get back into the club, presumably to re-join his friends.
Souvik Pal was from Bangalore in India and had been studying at the Metropolitan University in Manchester and had lived in halls of residence on Cavendish Street. He was described as a popular man by his flatmates who said that after he arrived at the university he had started drinking and taking drugs.
His friends said that they had been worried about Souvik Pal going clubbing with them saying that he had never been clubbing before coming to the United Kingdom, noting that the Warehouse Project was a large and busy venue, although added that he had been very enthusiastic about it.
His friends said that he had been drinking vodka before going to the club and said that he had also taken ecstasy. They also said that he had researched in advance methods to take drugs into the club and avoid sniffer dogs by putting them in clothes so that he could take more ecstasy inside. A flatmate said that he had taken one 'bomb' of ecstasy in the taxi on the way there and another 'bomb' whilst inside, noting that a 'bomb' was some ecstasy powder wrapped up in some cigarette paper which was swallowed.
It was heard that he had charged at a member of the security staff inside the club in order to get past the one-way system there after becoming separated from his friends at about 10pm and was thrown out. It was also stated that he had been thrown out of the club because he had been behaving aggressively and because the staff believed that he had taken drugs.
Souvik Pal was seen outside the club at about 11pm.
It was thought that he was then next seen a short time later with the other person in CCTV footage trying to get back in, although he was not seen by any witnesses. It was stated that the CCTV footage was of poor quality and that it was not possible to identify the second person.
He was reported missing the following day.
His family appealed for the man that he was thought to have been with outside the club trying to get back in with to come forward.
An open verdict was returned with his cause of death given as being due to drowning. His post-mortem revealed that he had no other injuries and that there were no marks of violence on his clothing. The Coroner's inquest stated that the drugs that he had taken were likely to have contributed to his behaviour and stated that it could not be ascertained where or how he entered the water.