Dutch man allegedly confesses stabbed Briton for 'no reason'

SRINAGAR (AFP) - A friend of a young British woman stabbed to death on a houseboat in Indian Kashmir said Monday her alleged Dutch killer confessed that he murdered the backpacker for "no reason".

Syed Ahmed Shoda, the houseboat owner's son and friend of the victim Sarah Groves, said Richard de Wit told him "there is no reason (why I killed her), I just killed her".

Mr Shoda told AFP that de Wit, 43, made the statements when he confronted the Dutch man in a police station at the weekend in scenic Indian Kashmir's main city of Srinagar, where both were being questioned by police.

Mr Shoda, 26, who police have confirmed was in another resort area at the time of the killing, said he spoke to de Wit in the police station at the request of the authorities as they struggle to establish a motive for the murder. Mr Shoda was later released without charge.

Deputy police inspector general Afadul Mutjaba told AFP on Sunday de Wit had admitted to carrying out the stabbing attack on the 24-year-old while under the influence of a drug, possibly cannabis or heroin.

Ms Groves was a personal trainer from the island of Guernsey, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported.

Police in Kashmir said on Monday the British High Commission was likely to take the victim's body away on Tuesday to return it to her family in Britain.

De Wit was arrested as he tried to flee in a taxi, hours after the British woman was found dead Saturday in a pool of blood in the cabin of the houseboat on picturesque Dal Lake after being stabbed multiple times, police said.

Police said they had spoken to de Wit's wife in the Netherlands who told them her husband had a history of psychiatric problems.

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