Tributes to British father who died protecting his family at luxury Thai hotel

Tributes have been paid to a "hero" British father who is said to have died protecting his family. Picture: PA
Tributes have been paid to a "hero" British father who is said to have died protecting his family. Picture: PA
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Tributes have been paid to a "hero" British father who is said to have died protecting his family when a hotel guest barged into their room and attacked him.

Amitpal Singh Bajaj from Southall in west London was beaten up by a man staying in the room next door at the five-star Centara Grand Hotel on Karon Beach in Phuket, Thailand, according to his wife.

Police in the country were reported as saying Mr Bajaj had complained to the fellow guest about loud noise and that a fight then broke out.

Bandhna Kaur Bajaj said she and her husband, who were on holiday with their two-year-old son, had been woken by loud noises from the neighbouring room in the early hours of

Wednesday, and found that someone was trying to knock open their balcony door.

In a statement released through the Sikh Press Association she said a naked white man "barged in through the balcony door and stormed aggressively" towards her husband.

Mrs Bajaj added: "My husband tried to block the man and move me and my son away. As the man was kicking, punching and just beating him up my husband told me to please leave and save our son."

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She said she ran from the hotel and hid with her son under a tree near the spa, from where she called the reception for help.

The woman learned of her husband's death after he was taken to hospital at around 4am that day.

She added: "My husband sacrificed his life to save my son's life and mine. He will always be our hero."

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The Phuket News reported Thai police as saying Mr Bajaj had confronted a Norwegian tourist in the next room for making too much noise while his family was trying to sleep.

They quoted Karon Chief Police Col Prawit as saying the pair began arguing and a fight broke out and that the Norwegian man had broken in to Mr Bajaj's room via the balcony.

The man was arrested and has been charged with manslaughter and trespass by an act of violence, the news site reported.

A spokesman for the UK Foreign Office said: "We are supporting the family of a British man following his death in Phuket, and are in contact with the Thai authorities."

A memorial event is due to take place for Mr Bajaj on Sunday evening at the Sikh temple on Southall Park Avenue, where he was a member.

Harmeet Singh Gill, the temple's general secretary, said the community was "shocked and saddened" to learn of Mr Bajaj's death "whilst protecting his family".

He added: "He was well-known, admired and respected in the community for his seva (voluntary work). We pray to the almighty to give his friends and family the strength to get through these difficult times and to obtain justice."