A PETITION demanding further investigation into the drowning death of a schoolgirl has hit 100,000 signatures, as the organiser hopes her resumed inquest provides much-needed answers.

Shukri Yayhe-Abde’s body was pulled from the River Irwell, near Dunster Street in Bury, shortly before midnight on June 27, 2019 – five weeks before her 13th birthday.

The petition wants the UK Parliament and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to independently investigate both the Local Education Authority of Bury and Broad Oak Sports College (Hazel Wood High School) for potential negligence and a potential breach of its duty of care towards its pupils in light of accusations of failure to address incidents of bullying.

An inquest had previously heard that in the hours before her death, a girl at the river is alleged to have told Shukri,“If you don’t get into the water, I’m going to kill you.”

Shabnam Kulsoom, who started the petition, said: "It is incredible that my petition has reached over 100,000 signatures and is still growing.

"I think we have to remember that the death and circumstances surrounding the tragic death of 12 year old Shukri Abdi on June 27, 2019 resonated and still resonates massively with everyone in Bury and indeed across the UK regardless of background.

"This is evident from the numbers of signatures we have gathered."

Shukri, who was the eldest of five children, had moved to Bury in January 2017 from a refugee camp in Kenya.

Shabnam added: "The inquest has thus far exposed a catalogue of errors especially in protecting this young refugee girl who, one can argue, came from the most vulnerable of backgrounds and unfortunately was let down badly by many within the local Bury community and indeed the local authorities.

"As this is an ongoing investigation, we are awaiting further dates for the conclusion of the inquest where further evidences will be heard and then the coroner's verdict will be delivered."

Shabnam, along with anti-racism campaigners Maz Saleem, Abdul Aziz and others from the official Justice4Shukri campaign team have been supporting the family since her death.

Shabnam added: "Understandably this has been an incredibly testing 11 months for Zamzam Arab Ture, the mother of Shukri.

"However, she is overwhelmed and full of gratitude for the support she has been receiving from across the UK. She is an incredibly strong and brave woman and the support she has been receiving is making her stronger each day."

"As for the conclusion of the inquest, we are hoping for inquest dates to be announced swiftly as justice delayed is justice denied."

The inquest, which heard from a number of witnesses who were with Shukri at the time of her death, was adjourned at the start of March and a fresh date is awaited for its resumption.