THE mother of an 11-year-old Bradford boy who died last week after being found hanging at his home today released a poignant tribute to him in which she has urged everyone to stand up to bullies.
Asad Khan was found by his mother, Farheen Khan, after she had to force her way through the locked door to his bedroom at their home in Tile Street, off Whetley Lane, on September 28.
The same day thousands of people attended the young boy's funeral, with many mourners wearing t-shirts carrying anti-bullying messages.
Here are Mrs Khan's words in full:
"Asad, my eldest child, my everything. He was my greatest strength and support.
"He was no ordinary child, he was very bright for his age, he was sensitive, loving and a very lively child.
"On Wednesday 28th of September 2016, my son breathed his last.
"He did not die of a long term illness or an accident but ended his life.
"Only Allah knows what he was going through when he made the decision of ending his life.
"The pain of losing your child cannot be described.
"I witnessed him giving up, I cried for help, prayed he would start breathing, looked at the doctors with hope that they would save him but his time was up.
"To be told that your child was being bullied. The questions surrounding my mind are: 'What must he have he gone through during his last hours? What happened to him that he took such a drastic step?'
"The pain, the helplessness.
"Why would anybody bully him? He was harmless.
"Asad would not leave the house without hugging and kissing me. His love for his parents was beyond explanation.
"It is when I am alone with his memories that I cry.
"I am no longer able to step into my own house, the room where it all took place.
"Asad's memories echo in every corner of the house. He's gone and I have to accept that.
"I would like to take this opportunity to mention, there are no videos of my son being bullied, nor did he inform me of being bullied.
"It is now that a number of friends in his school have mentioned that he got bullied.
"I request everyone to stand up against bullying, no child deserves to be mistreated.
"It is a serious issue and many are a victim of it. Today it is my child, tomorrow it could be one of yours.
"I would like to thank every single person who has supported us through this difficult time.
"Asad's janaza was an evidence that care, compassion, love and sympathy exists in the society.
"The support I am receiving from all, has definitely helped keep me strong.
"Yes, there is immense grief but there is also happiness that my son is in the gardens of Jannah.
"If your child witnessed my child getting bullied, please come forward. That is all a mother is asking for, justice for her child."
Bradford West Labour MP Naz Shah, who has also shared the tribute on her Facebook page, said: “Asad’s case has really touched a lot of people, not just in Bradford but across the UK.
“I have had lots of people get in touch with me to ask for details of the family to send them flowers. It has impacted on a lot of people.
“The death of a child cuts across any cultural differences. Tragedies like this have a way of bringing people together.
“This is a clear and emotional message from a woman who has just buried her child, and who wouldn’t want anyone else to experience that.”
Ms Shah had a meeting with West Yorkshire Police today and said the investigation into Asad’s death was “very thorough”.
An online petition, called Bite Bullying in the Bud, was started after Asad’s death, and calls for changes to the education system to bring an end to bullying.
So far it has attacted the support of more than 28,000 people.
Asad’s aunt, Rehana Bibi, welcomed the petition, and a public meeting to be held tomorrow night, both of which are supporting the family and highlighting the issue of bullying in schools.
Miss Bibi said Asad had told his teachers at Iqra Primary that he was not ready for secondary school.
She said: “He was very happy at Iqra. He felt confident there, he had friends and the teachers were understanding and helpful.
“He did not say anything to the family about being bullied at his new school but he did not want to go there.
“We are finding out through others about bullying in upper schools. Teachers need to be watching over the kids in the playgrounds, but that is not happening in schools.”
The public meeting, to be held at Girlington Community Centre, from 6pm to 8pm, has been organised to offer support to those grieving and work out ways to try to stop bullying.
People who attend will have the opportunity to air their feelings and what they would like to see happen.
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