AN Asian taxi driver has been beaten to death in a racist attack at Golcar.
Mohammed Pervaiz, of Birkby, was found fatally injured near his taxi by police at Field Head at 11.30pm on Saturday night.
And police believe he may have been lured into an ambush by his killers.
The married father-of-three, of Tanfield Road, was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary with serious head injuries. But he was pronounced dead on arrival.
It is not yet known whether weapons were used in the attack.
It is thought that 41-year-old Mr Pervaiz, who worked for Lockwood Taxis, had been called to Golcar on a job.
Five teenagers have been arrested in connection with the death. The four males and one female are all aged between 16 and 19.
None has yet been charged.
Yesterday Field Head was cordoned off by police.
Forensic officers were examining the scene and Mr Pervaiz's private hire taxi, a black people carrier, was still in the street, with its windows smashed in.
Police said a post-mortem had revealed that Mr Pervaiz died as a result of head injuries sustained during a serious assault.
Det Supt Tim Forber is leading the inquiry. He said: "Extensive inquiries are under way to establish the events leading to the tragic murder of Mr Pervaiz, who was responding to a request for a fare when he was killed.
"Early indications suggest that more than five people were present at the time of the attack.
"We are keen to speak to anyone who may have information about those responsible.
"I'd urge anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious in the Field Head area after 10pm on Saturday evening to get in touch with us.
"While we are keeping an open mind regarding the motive for this attack it is believed racist language was used towards the victim.
"For this reason the incident is being treated as racially aggravated at this stage."
Det Supt Forber urged anyone with information to contact the incident room on 01924 431 000 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
An incident room has been set up in Dewsbury.
Golcar Liberal Democrat councillor Andrew Marchington said the community was deeply shocked by the death.
He said: "We are shocked and appalled by what has happened. Our thoughts are with the friends and family of the dead man involved in this incident.
"People throughout Golcar will be shocked by this news.
"The area has no more racial tensions than any other part of West Yorkshire." he added.
"If it had happened in any other part of Huddersfield or the Colne Valley we would have been just as shocked."
The peaceful street where the savage killing happened has only a few houses and leads to a doctor's surgery, St John's C of E Junior and Infant School and open fields.
People living nearby said the incident had left them fearful.
Jane England - whose house on Moorcroft Avenues overlooks the scene - said everyone was upset.
She added: "We are all very shocked. It's not the sort of place where this kind of thing happens.
"This street is a nice quiet area."
Mrs England said her young son and daughter saw the aftermath of the incident.
She said: "One of our bedroom windows looks directly over where it happened.
"My kids witnessed the aftermath of it all. My son saw the man being put into the ambulance. It was awful for them.
"We didn't witness what actually happened.
"The only person who saw it all was a lady at the end of the road, who phoned the police. She is very shaken up."
Clr Mehboob Khan, Kirklees councillor for Greenhead, said Mr Pervaiz was a friend and one of his constituents.
He described him as a hard-working family man.
He added: "It is a sickening and evil act. These people are really evil and should be brought to justice.
"I have known Mr Pervaiz for a number of years and he was one of the most gentle people you could ever meet.
"His family are shocked, grieving and can't believe that he went out to work and this happened to him.
"He has a wife and three young children. His brothers and other relatives all live in Birkby, too.
"The whole community are supporting them and people of all backgrounds are just shocked by this senseless act."
TAXI drivers in Huddersfield have been shocked - but not surprised - by the attack on one of their colleagues.
They say safety is one of their biggest concerns.
Bassi Singh, who works from the St George's Square taxi rank, said: "Sometimes people will abuse you, especially if they are drunk.
"Sometimes it's racist, not just about the fare. I don't work nights but it's happened during the day. I just ignore it, but you are very vulnerable."
His colleague, who did not want to be named, said taxi drivers are unable to protect themselves from racist attacks or robbery.
He said: "You are not allowed to carry anything or do anything to a problem passenger, because you might get in trouble.
"You can get CCTV in your cab but that's about it.
"I've had situations where passengers have directed me to a quiet area and I've been worried about what they might do."
He said racist incidents did happen, but were rare in Huddersfield.
"But things like the 9/11 terror attacks have put us all at more risk because they have created this atmosphere of tension," he added.
Councillors, community leaders and police in the Greenhead and Golcar wards have met in a bid to prevent a backlash following Mr Pervaiz's death and to keep up to date on the murder investigation.
Clr Mehboob Khan said they discussed how to prevent fear from turning people from different ethnic groups against each other.
He said: "Huddersfield is a town with good community relations.
"We want to reassure people that although there are some very sick individuals, the vast majority of people from all backgrounds want to get on with living together harmoniously.
"It is the police and councillors' job to listen to people's concerns. If anyone is worried they should be cautious but should not be frightened out of carrying on with their daily activities.
"We had this meeting so we can be up to date and reassure the whole community that the police are taking this very seriously."
Clr Khan said meetings are also being arranged with owners of taxi companies in Huddersfield.
He said: "Being attacked has almost become an occupational hazard for taxi drivers.
"We want to meet with taxi company owners to reassure them and find out what can be done to keep them safe."
Kirklees Council officials are today expected to discuss safety with taxi firms and their drivers and staff.