Indian youth found murdered in Canada, community members suspect hate crime

PTI, Sep 8, 2021, 12:45 PM IST

Toronto: A 23-year-old Indian was found murdered at an apartment in Truro town of Canada’s Nova Scotia province, with community members suspecting it a racially- motivated hate crime, according to media reports.

David MacNeil of the Truro Police Service said a 911 call from 494 Robie St at 2 am on Sunday brought officers to the apartment building, where they found a man with life-threatening injuries, CBC Canada reported.

MacNeil confirmed the victim was Prabhjot Singh Katri who later died of his injuries.

Singh worked for Layton’s taxi as well as one or two restaurants in Truro.

Police are treating the death as a homicide, the report said.

A man was arrested in connection with the murder but was later released.

”We executed several search warrants on the weekend and we did have a person of interest that was arrested shortly after. However, they have since been released from our custody without charges related to this homicide at this time,” MacNeil said.

”That man remains a person of interest,” he said.

MacNeil said he met with the victim’s family, friends, and members of the local Indian-Canadian community Sunday night to express his condolences.

Singh came to Canada from India in 2017 to study.

”Singh was a hard-working young man with a bright future and this is an absolutely senseless loss of life,” MacNeil said. ”The community is outraged by this.” A GoFundMe has been set up in an effort to send Singh’s body to India, CTV News reported.

Singh’s friends are worried that the attack was a racially motivated hate crime, the report said.

Jatinder Kumardeep said Singh was ”an innocent guy coming back from his job. He drives a taxi.” Kumardeep said he has not slept since his friend died. Kumardeep said there are few international students in Truro, so most get to know each other. They both come from Punjab, India, and so bonded in Nova Scotia.

”We feel very unsafe,” he said.

”We are also people. Brown people also matter. We are giving our everything to this country,” he said. ”Why is this happening to us?” Agampal Singh said his friend was a good person.

”Nothing was robbed. Even his phone was in his pocket,” Singh said. ”We don’t have any idea why this happened.” His friend had no enemies, he said.

”He was a very innocent guy. Never had bad company, never smoked, never drank, he didn’t touch drugs. He had only a few friends here,” Agampal said.

”He didn’t talk with people he didn’t know. I think it might be a hate crime.” ”We are coming to this country for a good future,” he said. ”We are not safe. I can’t even sleep.” MacNeil, however, said, ”Contrary to social media, we have no information on the motive that we’re releasing at this point in time,” ”We don’t believe there is any ongoing threat to the public,” he added, without offering the reasons behind that assessment.

He did not say if the police think the attack was random, or that the attacker targeted Singh. MacNeil said the investigation was ongoing. The crime scene at the apartment building has been released. Police did not release the victim’s name, nor provide information on any suspects.

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