London: A 29-year-old Indian-origin man has been charged by Scotland Yard in connection with the killing of three compatriots originally from Punjab in a street fight in east London over the weekend.
Gurjeet Singh was charged on Tuesday evening with possessing an offensive weapon in a public place to appear before Redbridge Magistrates' Court in London on Wednesday.
He remains under investigation in connection with the murders, while a second man aged 39 remains in police custody.
"Enquiries around motive for this incident continue, however we do not believe it to be gang related. Officers at this stage are not seeking to make any further arrests for murder, the Metropolitan Police said in its update.
The three murdered men, originally from Punjab, are yet to be formally identified by police but have been locally named as builders Narinder a.k.a. Nik Singh, Harinder a.k.a. Honey Kumar, and Baljit Singh.
Earlier, the Met Police had said that their investigation revealed that the attack was the result of an "ongoing dispute" involving men from the local Sikh and Hindu communities who were known to each other.
An altercation at a wedding reception a day before is believed to be linked to the fatal incident on Sunday night when three men, aged in their late 20s and 30s, were found with serious stab wounds by emergency services and pronounced dead at the scene in Seven Kings area of Redbridge.
Scotland Yard's Specialist Crime Command launched a murder investigation and arrested two men on suspicion of the murders.
We now believe all those involved were known to each other and from the Sikh and Hindu community, however we are still in the process of identifying the men and working to inform their next of kin, said Detective Chief Inspector Paul Considine, who is leading the investigation.
At this early stage, I do not believe this was gang or race-related. But, I believe there may have been an ongoing dispute between those involved. We believe the five men were involved in an altercation the previous evening (Saturday) at Krystel Banqueting that spilled out onto the High Road, he said.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan visited the scene of the stabbings on Monday and called for more government funding to tackle knife crime in the city.
"The horrific triple stabbing in Seven Kings in Redbridge last night is a tragic reminder of the evil scourge of knife crime that continues to plague our entire country, he said.
Jas Athwal, the British Sikh leader of the local Redbridge Council of the area, who joined him at the site, said he believed the triple stabbings were an isolated incident involving the local Indian migrant community.
I made it clear to the Mayor that things like this do not happen here. More must be done. We need more police now, he said.