UPDATE: Tragedy in New Zealand Sikh Community

The police have apprehended two suspects and are charging them with the killing of Navtej Singh. The police are still searching for additional suspects and accomplices.

————————————————————

Many of our friends and family own small businesses. Whether gas stations or convenience stores, the hours are long and the risks are high. Few of us would probably not be aware of some friends or family that have not had some circumstance occur while working.navtej.jpg

In Auckland, the New Zealand Sikh community suffered a tragedy with the killing of 30 year old, Navtej Singh, a father of three children all under 5 years of age.

Almost as disturbing as the cold-blooded murderers, who stole fifteen bottles of beer and a few dollars, was a callous customer that stole a box of alcopops as the victim lay in his blood.

The 12,000 member Sikh community in New Zealand is an established community with five gurdwaras and are asking questions. There is some division as to whether these crimes have a racial motivation or are crimes of opportunity:

“What is happening in South Auckland?” asked Sandeep Verma, who was with Navtej Singh when he was shot, and when he later died in hospital.

“All the people from the Indian community, whether they are Fiji Indians, Indians, Punjabis, Gujaratis; only those people are the main target.

“What are the police doing for the security of our people?” [link]

Another disturbing element of this crime was the police’s hindrance of the ambulance from picking up Navtej Singh. Navtej Singh’s friend narrates that Navtej was alive and well, he had even used the bathroom by himself, when the ambulance dispatcher told them they were one minute away. Then the police seemed to bar the ambulance from reaching Navtej Singh for almost 30-45 minutes, during which time he passed away.

While this tragedy occurred thousands of miles away, I cannot help but feel connected. Unfortunately this will not be the last time, we hear of such cases. Although I have mixed feelings on the subject, if the police cannot protect, then I am not sure why they are dissuading the Punjabi shopkeepers from defending themselves.

One last note, the police justify the delay as being part of ‘proper procedure,’ I always find such dereliction of responsibility to be cowardly. I always feel contempt for those that hide behind ‘procedure’ and ‘bureaucracy,’ especially when another’s life is at sake.

There are some videos of Navtej Singh’s friend’s testimony here and the news report here and here.


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40 Responses to “UPDATE: Tragedy in New Zealand Sikh Community”

  1. Sundari says:

    These incidents are just as disturbing each time I read about them. While the focus should be placed upon finding the killers, it cannot be understated that the police did neglect Navtej Singh by delaying their communication to the ambulance. Perhaps if they take some responsibility for this, they could create a system that would prevent this delay from happening again. Instead of waiting for the ambulance, should Navtej's friend have taken him to the hospital himself? (I'm pretty sure that's not what we pay taxes for). Regardless, I do believe the focus should be on finding those individuals who came in with the intention of robbing and killing Navtej Singh. My sympathies to his wife and children and to others who are also afraid that this could happen to them…

  2. Sundari says:

    These incidents are just as disturbing each time I read about them. While the focus should be placed upon finding the killers, it cannot be understated that the police did neglect Navtej Singh by delaying their communication to the ambulance. Perhaps if they take some responsibility for this, they could create a system that would prevent this delay from happening again. Instead of waiting for the ambulance, should Navtej’s friend have taken him to the hospital himself? (I’m pretty sure that’s not what we pay taxes for). Regardless, I do believe the focus should be on finding those individuals who came in with the intention of robbing and killing Navtej Singh. My sympathies to his wife and children and to others who are also afraid that this could happen to them…

  3. Amandeep says:

    This is just horrible. I real feel for the family and its friends. I belive the police were racist also for not attending and taking action right away. I feel they delayed his life by a long shot. He deserved to live like anybody else. He would still be alive today if the police had done their job!

  4. Amandeep says:

    [quote comment="2627"]RIP[/quote]

    Bhaiya

  5. al-fallujah says:

    the folks in these settler colonies are so violent for no reason at all

    don't be afraid to explore the racism angle

  6. Amandeep says:

    This is just horrible. I real feel for the family and its friends. I belive the police were racist also for not attending and taking action right away. I feel they delayed his life by a long shot. He deserved to live like anybody else. He would still be alive today if the police had done their job!

  7. Amandeep says:

    [quote comment=”2627″]RIP[/quote]
    Bhaiya

  8. Amandeep says:

    ….making a living at other peoples expense.

    [deleted….Amandeep, it is a tragedy, but knee-jerk prejudices and generalizations of communities is NOT tolerated in The Langar Hall. Those kind of comments end up in the trash with other things that are harmful and useless, like styrofoam cups and plates…Admin Singh]

  9. al-fallujah says:

    the folks in these settler colonies are so violent for no reason at all
    don’t be afraid to explore the racism angle

  10. Amandeep says:

    ….making a living at other peoples expense.

    [deleted….Amandeep, it is a tragedy, but knee-jerk prejudices and generalizations of communities is NOT tolerated in The Langar Hall. Those kind of comments end up in the trash with other things that are harmful and useless, like styrofoam cups and plates…Admin Singh]

  11. Amandeep says:

    Sorry Uncle

    [No problem putt, don't let it happen again. Admin Singh….]

  12. Amandeep says:

    Sorry Uncle

    [No problem putt, don’t let it happen again. Admin Singh….]

  13. Suki says:

    Everybody here does know that the 3 men who killed Mr.Singh were not white but native New Zealanders.

    [The objection was not the identification of the ethnic background of the killers, it was the prejudiced epithets that came along with it, in the original comment….Admin Singh]

  14. Suki says:

    Everybody here does know that the 3 men who killed Mr.Singh were not white but native New Zealanders.

    [The objection was not the identification of the ethnic background of the killers, it was the prejudiced epithets that came along with it, in the original comment….Admin Singh]

  15. Paul says:

    I am a Kiwi living in Europe for many years now and I have followed this story with some interest.

    I am also an ex-Police Officer so can briefly explain why the ambulance was delayed reaching the victim. Its not a question of being cowardly, the fact was this was an armed incident and paramedic crews are neither armed themselves nor do they wear body armour. An ambulance driving into the middle of a possible armed incident could create more victims by endangering the lives of the paramedics. The Police procedure is to create a safe "sterile" zone before emergency crews can enter the scene. A Forward Holding Point is established and the Police hold all non-Police crew at that point until they can guarantee their safety. This type of procedure is not unique to NZ and is the same as we practised in the UK and is also done in most European countries as well as the US and Australia.

    There was a delay in officers reaching the scene and that by all means should be investigated. The Police in New Zealand are not in any means racist as has been written here and lets not wave that flag every time the possibility is there. Neither are they routinely armed, so just like the UK, there are set procedures with how to deal with armed offenders and that means waiting for officers who are authorised to carry weapons. Someone also wrote here "he would still be alive today if the police had done their job" – well come on we don't know that. None of us were there, nor did we see how badly he was injured. The police being their in five minutes as opposed to thirty minutes is not a guarantee his life could have been saved. He had been shot. There are no guarantees with an injury of that nature.

    I have read that shop owners are asking for their own telephone hotline number but I am not sure how that would work in practice. Surely a simple and silent panic alarm linked directly to the Police control centre should be the answer. The same as banks have.

    The best way forward now is for the community to come together, police included and find out how they can best reduce such incidents from happening in the future.

    Its very easy to criticise the Police and ambulance crews in these circumstances. I know, as a teenager I witnessed the death of two young people in which I blamed the police. I spoke to every news outlet, TV and Media until the local Police commander who met me said.. "if you want to make a difference, or see how hard the job is.. put the uniform on" and years later I did that and he was right. It's not easy but the officers do the best they can with the resources they have.

    What happened to Navtej Singh is a tragedy and a heartbreaking one at that but looking for someone to blame other than the person(s) who pulled the trigger doesn't resolve the issue. Now is the time for the community to gather round and work to make sure it doesn't happen so often in the future.

    Thanks for giving me the chance to voice my thoughts here.

  16. Jodha says:

    Thanks for sharing your voice Paul.

    If you have time, I do have a few procedural questions:

    1) How long does it usually take for a 'routine' clearance of the area, when the suspect is believed to have already fled the scene?

    2) From some media reports, the area in question is considered a 'rough' area. How may this have affected the response time of the police and the time for the clearance?

    Regardless, thanks again Paul for sharing your voice.

  17. Paul says:

    Hey Jodha,

    I can only speak of my own experience and not from this particular incident. But yes I would still question the length of time it took officers to get on scene. That was a bit long in my opinion. But with that said you mention it was believed that the offenders had fled the scene but the question is how do you define "fled the scene". As an officer you have no idea if the offenders had run down the street and were hiding in a garden or under a car. I attended a shooting of a police officer fifteen years ago where directly afterwards the offender walked into a bar five metres away. He had believed officers would never expect the offender to be so close. And yet he was.

    Any incident with a firearm has to be taken very very seriously by the police and public alike. Rushing to the scene thinking the offender(s) have fled can lead to more fatalities or injuries. The incident I described above left six officers in hospital for that very reason. We all believed the offender had left the scene.. he hadn't.

    What really slowed the progress of police is the fact that NZ officers don't routinely carry weapons and therefore they had to wait for armed officers to arrive to clear the area. In the UK, its the same but are supported by Armed Response Vehicles which patrol towns and cities and which generally only respond to gun and knife emergency calls. Perhaps its time for NZ to consider something similar.

    South Auckland is (I would imagine) a difficult neighbourhood at night. This in itself should not slow police response, although you would have to take into consideration how busy the officers were or how busy the neighbour hood is for Police. Questions like are these crimes prevalent in this area do come up and could play a part in clearing the area. By that I mean if there had been several similar crimes with firearms in the area in the weeks leading up to this incident then yes, the officers might have been doubly cautious and awaited proper back up and assistance from other areas before going in. But in general, the response to a firearms incident should be more or less the same all over NZ. Its a national police service with national guidelines with only minor local variations put into practise.

    But in the end.. I am quite surprised that liquor stores etc don't have "panic alarms". Even clothing stores in London have them and once pressed the police have to be on scene within a set period of time.

    That would be a sea of change for incidents like these.

  18. Jodha says:

    Paul,

    The 'panic button' sounds like a great suggestion. I hope they do implement such a thing there in New Zealand.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to express your opinion and answer a few of my questions.

  19. Paul says:

    I am a Kiwi living in Europe for many years now and I have followed this story with some interest.

    I am also an ex-Police Officer so can briefly explain why the ambulance was delayed reaching the victim. Its not a question of being cowardly, the fact was this was an armed incident and paramedic crews are neither armed themselves nor do they wear body armour. An ambulance driving into the middle of a possible armed incident could create more victims by endangering the lives of the paramedics. The Police procedure is to create a safe “sterile” zone before emergency crews can enter the scene. A Forward Holding Point is established and the Police hold all non-Police crew at that point until they can guarantee their safety. This type of procedure is not unique to NZ and is the same as we practised in the UK and is also done in most European countries as well as the US and Australia.

    There was a delay in officers reaching the scene and that by all means should be investigated. The Police in New Zealand are not in any means racist as has been written here and lets not wave that flag every time the possibility is there. Neither are they routinely armed, so just like the UK, there are set procedures with how to deal with armed offenders and that means waiting for officers who are authorised to carry weapons. Someone also wrote here “he would still be alive today if the police had done their job” – well come on we don’t know that. None of us were there, nor did we see how badly he was injured. The police being their in five minutes as opposed to thirty minutes is not a guarantee his life could have been saved. He had been shot. There are no guarantees with an injury of that nature.

    I have read that shop owners are asking for their own telephone hotline number but I am not sure how that would work in practice. Surely a simple and silent panic alarm linked directly to the Police control centre should be the answer. The same as banks have.

    The best way forward now is for the community to come together, police included and find out how they can best reduce such incidents from happening in the future.

    Its very easy to criticise the Police and ambulance crews in these circumstances. I know, as a teenager I witnessed the death of two young people in which I blamed the police. I spoke to every news outlet, TV and Media until the local Police commander who met me said.. “if you want to make a difference, or see how hard the job is.. put the uniform on” and years later I did that and he was right. It’s not easy but the officers do the best they can with the resources they have.

    What happened to Navtej Singh is a tragedy and a heartbreaking one at that but looking for someone to blame other than the person(s) who pulled the trigger doesn’t resolve the issue. Now is the time for the community to gather round and work to make sure it doesn’t happen so often in the future.

    Thanks for giving me the chance to voice my thoughts here.

  20. Jodha says:

    Thanks for sharing your voice Paul.

    If you have time, I do have a few procedural questions:

    1) How long does it usually take for a ‘routine’ clearance of the area, when the suspect is believed to have already fled the scene?
    2) From some media reports, the area in question is considered a ‘rough’ area. How may this have affected the response time of the police and the time for the clearance?

    Regardless, thanks again Paul for sharing your voice.

  21. Paul says:

    Hey Jodha,

    I can only speak of my own experience and not from this particular incident. But yes I would still question the length of time it took officers to get on scene. That was a bit long in my opinion. But with that said you mention it was believed that the offenders had fled the scene but the question is how do you define “fled the scene”. As an officer you have no idea if the offenders had run down the street and were hiding in a garden or under a car. I attended a shooting of a police officer fifteen years ago where directly afterwards the offender walked into a bar five metres away. He had believed officers would never expect the offender to be so close. And yet he was.

    Any incident with a firearm has to be taken very very seriously by the police and public alike. Rushing to the scene thinking the offender(s) have fled can lead to more fatalities or injuries. The incident I described above left six officers in hospital for that very reason. We all believed the offender had left the scene.. he hadn’t.

    What really slowed the progress of police is the fact that NZ officers don’t routinely carry weapons and therefore they had to wait for armed officers to arrive to clear the area. In the UK, its the same but are supported by Armed Response Vehicles which patrol towns and cities and which generally only respond to gun and knife emergency calls. Perhaps its time for NZ to consider something similar.

    South Auckland is (I would imagine) a difficult neighbourhood at night. This in itself should not slow police response, although you would have to take into consideration how busy the officers were or how busy the neighbour hood is for Police. Questions like are these crimes prevalent in this area do come up and could play a part in clearing the area. By that I mean if there had been several similar crimes with firearms in the area in the weeks leading up to this incident then yes, the officers might have been doubly cautious and awaited proper back up and assistance from other areas before going in. But in general, the response to a firearms incident should be more or less the same all over NZ. Its a national police service with national guidelines with only minor local variations put into practise.

    But in the end.. I am quite surprised that liquor stores etc don’t have “panic alarms”. Even clothing stores in London have them and once pressed the police have to be on scene within a set period of time.

    That would be a sea of change for incidents like these.

  22. Jodha says:

    Paul,

    The ‘panic button’ sounds like a great suggestion. I hope they do implement such a thing there in New Zealand.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to express your opinion and answer a few of my questions.

  23. Baljit says:

    This is what happened in Auckland is horrible. the community here is feeling unsafe. Navtej was very nice person and father of three daughters and brother of three sisters. The police and ambulance delay also contributed to his death. about the people who killed him I STRONGLY APPEAL TO THE SIKH ( ALL INDIANS) COMMUNITY THAT WE NEED TO STAND FOR OURSELF. WE WANT JUSTICE. THE LAW SHOULD HANG THESE PEOPLE IN PUBLIC AND ALL THE COMMUNITY PLEASE ATTEND THE COURT FOR NAVTEJ AND STAND FOR THE JUSTICE. IF WE WANT STAND TOGETHER NOW WE WNAT BE ABLE TO STAND EVER. THE LOSS THAT FAMILY IS GOING THROUGH WE NEED TO STAND WITH THE FAMILY AND I AM HAPPY THAT WE ARE. BUT STILL WE NEED TO STOP THIS TO HAPPEN IN FUTURE TO ANY OTHER FAMILY NO MATTER TO WHICH COMMUNITY THEY BELONG TO. WE WNAT JUASTICE HANG THE KILLERS. PLEASE ALL STAND TOGETHER OR HAND OVER THEM TO OUR COMMUNITY SO WE CAN TEACH THEM AND THE FUTURE CRIMINALS ALESSON. I PRAY FOR THE FAMILY AND FOR NAVTEJ SO HE CAN REST IN PEACE IN HEAVEN. PLEASE PROMISE NAVTEJ THAT WWE WILL FIGHT FOR EVERY SINGLE DROP OF HIS BLOOD. VAHEGURU JI KA KAHLSA VAHEGURU JI KI FATHEY. REMEBER SAYING OF GURU GOBINMD SINGH JI AND SHOW THAT WE ARE HIS CHILDREN.

    [Baljit, I will excuse the incoherence as it is written as an emotional plea. However DO NOT write in all caps again. It does not add anything….Admin Singh]

  24. Baljit says:

    This is what happened in Auckland is horrible. the community here is feeling unsafe. Navtej was very nice person and father of three daughters and brother of three sisters. The police and ambulance delay also contributed to his death. about the people who killed him I STRONGLY APPEAL TO THE SIKH ( ALL INDIANS) COMMUNITY THAT WE NEED TO STAND FOR OURSELF. WE WANT JUSTICE. THE LAW SHOULD HANG THESE PEOPLE IN PUBLIC AND ALL THE COMMUNITY PLEASE ATTEND THE COURT FOR NAVTEJ AND STAND FOR THE JUSTICE. IF WE WANT STAND TOGETHER NOW WE WNAT BE ABLE TO STAND EVER. THE LOSS THAT FAMILY IS GOING THROUGH WE NEED TO STAND WITH THE FAMILY AND I AM HAPPY THAT WE ARE. BUT STILL WE NEED TO STOP THIS TO HAPPEN IN FUTURE TO ANY OTHER FAMILY NO MATTER TO WHICH COMMUNITY THEY BELONG TO. WE WNAT JUASTICE HANG THE KILLERS. PLEASE ALL STAND TOGETHER OR HAND OVER THEM TO OUR COMMUNITY SO WE CAN TEACH THEM AND THE FUTURE CRIMINALS ALESSON. I PRAY FOR THE FAMILY AND FOR NAVTEJ SO HE CAN REST IN PEACE IN HEAVEN. PLEASE PROMISE NAVTEJ THAT WWE WILL FIGHT FOR EVERY SINGLE DROP OF HIS BLOOD. VAHEGURU JI KA KAHLSA VAHEGURU JI KI FATHEY. REMEBER SAYING OF GURU GOBINMD SINGH JI AND SHOW THAT WE ARE HIS CHILDREN.

    [Baljit, I will excuse the incoherence as it is written as an emotional plea. However DO NOT write in all caps again. It does not add anything….Admin Singh]

  25. Amandeep says:

    I am just speechless. This is just not right for them to have done this. There have been many cases of them targeting Indians. What have we done wrong? I really dont know what to say as previous comments have been deleted. I am just horrified. I was planning to go to his funeral but i had school. I will make it to his march. I am setting up a charity fund for people to donate. The money will either go to his family or I will donate to the Gurdwara closest to me. This hurts me. All us Indians need to stay together whether we are fijian indians, punjabis, gujaratis etc.

    Satnam Satnam Satnam

  26. Amandeep says:

    Police have no right to say they did all they could and that they are sorry. Not at all are they sorry. These criminals robbed the store, was armed and murdered someone do you really think somebody whom has committed such an offence would stay back in the shop? NO! They wouldnt. They police were cowardly. No question about it. They are racist towards us Indians.

  27. Amandeep says:

    These people and whom are invovled are truly deserved to rot in hell. I think having a life sentence to jail is not the right way to go. These people rotting in jail what good would it be. They wont be suffering. Theyll get 3 meals a day, television, newspaper, family visits and calls and alot more than we get for our taxes. Our taxes pay for their so called "suffering". Its not worth it.

  28. Amandeep says:

    I am just speechless. This is just not right for them to have done this. There have been many cases of them targeting Indians. What have we done wrong? I really dont know what to say as previous comments have been deleted. I am just horrified. I was planning to go to his funeral but i had school. I will make it to his march. I am setting up a charity fund for people to donate. The money will either go to his family or I will donate to the Gurdwara closest to me. This hurts me. All us Indians need to stay together whether we are fijian indians, punjabis, gujaratis etc.

    Satnam Satnam Satnam

  29. Amandeep says:

    Police have no right to say they did all they could and that they are sorry. Not at all are they sorry. These criminals robbed the store, was armed and murdered someone do you really think somebody whom has committed such an offence would stay back in the shop? NO! They wouldnt. They police were cowardly. No question about it. They are racist towards us Indians.

  30. Amandeep says:

    These people and whom are invovled are truly deserved to rot in hell. I think having a life sentence to jail is not the right way to go. These people rotting in jail what good would it be. They wont be suffering. Theyll get 3 meals a day, television, newspaper, family visits and calls and alot more than we get for our taxes. Our taxes pay for their so called “suffering”. Its not worth it.

  31. Bobby says:

    This is the norm for this section of the South Asian diaspora. And I use the term South Asian diaspora because even though this is a Sikh blog, this affects Indians and Pakistanis and Sri Lankans who work in small business and suffer the brunt of violence and racist abuse on a daily basis. The small businesses that immigrants work in as the first step on the ladder often leave them vulnerable to violence. I experienced this in the UK over the first twenty years on my life watching and staying with relatives who owned shops. It's alarming how often I read on blogs about South Asian shop workers being shot dead in America, or taxi drivers being attacked. This is the raw experience of our history, and it's tragic. It leaves scars and mistrust every time something like this happens.

  32. Bobby says:

    This is the norm for this section of the South Asian diaspora. And I use the term South Asian diaspora because even though this is a Sikh blog, this affects Indians and Pakistanis and Sri Lankans who work in small business and suffer the brunt of violence and racist abuse on a daily basis. The small businesses that immigrants work in as the first step on the ladder often leave them vulnerable to violence. I experienced this in the UK over the first twenty years on my life watching and staying with relatives who owned shops. It’s alarming how often I read on blogs about South Asian shop workers being shot dead in America, or taxi drivers being attacked. This is the raw experience of our history, and it’s tragic. It leaves scars and mistrust every time something like this happens.

  33. Rakesh Krishnan says:

    Navtej Singh's murder has shaken not just the Indian community in Auckland, but the wider community. As a newspaper reporter I have to travel to Manurewa and nearby areas at least twice a week, and let me tell you the area gives me the creeps. Bands of aggressive boys roam around and unemployed people can be seen rushing in and out of stores. Unlike the poor in other countries, the parents of these unemployed boys and men get full state support. The more kids they have, the more the state pays them. Often many boys when they turn 20 get dole for the first time and never bother to work for the rest of their lives. Totally bored and without hope, crime is a handy diversion.

    Indians and the Asians are the only ones that seem to have any work. The whites are leaving in droves. South Auckland is fast becoming a Pacific majority area. The only Europeans that are staying put are either too poor to go to the North Shore (another Auckland suburb) or are too lazy or too old to move to Australia.

    Most Indians in the area are not very educated. And the Asians can't speak English to save their lives. The net result is that opening a small business is the only way they can get out of the lower middle class.

    Also, I may sound callous but greed defines the small business owner.

    Navtej used to close his shop very late at 11pm. His was perhaps the last store in the market that closed. The previous owner used to close at 6.30pm and also during slow times during the day. But Navtej even asked the neighbouring store owner, a Chinese owner of a fish and chips store, to stay open late because business was good between 9pm and 10pm. The Chinese refused.

    Working that late was clearly asking for trouble. In an area of acute poverty and hopelessness, trashy homes, beat up cars, and where rowdy youth roam free, where police presence is zero, you don't do such things. It was not bravery it was bravado. And Navtej, a good man, got blinded by his enthusiasm.

    The police anywhere in the world are stupid and rubbernecks. Auckland cops are no different. There have been huge scandals in the police force here, pack rapes, corruption but Navtej's case was pure shitting in the pants. In Auckland, the police react immediately, arriving in seconds if it's a case of family violence. But dial murder and they take forever. I knew a guy in a Mobil gas station located near a big intersection, who saw a murder bang in the middle of the road. He dialled the cops and when they didn't arrive after 10 minutes he called them again to be told they were arriving. Finally he saw ordinary folk carry the (perhaps) dying man to hospital.

    In Navtej's case it wasn't racism. Yes, they had to follow their code of procedure which says the lives of medics and cops cannot be endangered if they have to hit a crime scene. But a bold officer would have acted quickly and taken the injured man's family's word that the gunmen had fled. But sadly there was not one good man brave enough to reach the store.

    Auckland has reached the tipping point in terms of crime. People walk into stores and bully the owners, steal stuff, ask for petrol money. It's not easy being a store owner.

    I have no idea where this will end. I left New Delhi two years ago and arrived in New Zealand because life is easy here. The lifestyle is laidback, at work the colleagues are laidback. As a journalist life is easier than home because the standards of English here are quite low, whereas in India a single mistake or improper expression can cause mayhem the day after publication. So for me work is relaxed. I use half my brain and it suits me just fine.

    But the other side of the coin is that I have to worry about my wife when she goes out shopping at the mall. And I have reason to worry about my little boy.

    A day after Navtej's shooting, a bar in the same suburb, Manurewa, was robbed at gunpoint and $4000 taken.

    Two days after Navtej's shooting, an 80-year-old Chinese woman was killed in her flat by a robber.

    Four days later a Chinese woman and her 8-year-old son were attacked in a parking lot in the biggest mall in the area. The woman died in hospital.

    Minutes before that the same group had tried to attack another Asian woman and tried to snatch her day's collection. She escaped because she locked her car windows and stayed inside.

    Three days later, a man walked into a jewellery shop and walked away with an emerald costing $8000. As he inspected the gem, he said: You can call your insurance company because I'm taking this. They even opened the security doors for him to leave so nobody would get hurt but the idiot fiddled with the handle and the doors got locked.

    New Zealand has never attracted India’s brightest. Now even the second and third rung talent will think twice about setting out for Aotearoa.

  34. Rakesh Krishnan says:

    Navtej Singh’s murder has shaken not just the Indian community in Auckland, but the wider community. As a newspaper reporter I have to travel to Manurewa and nearby areas at least twice a week, and let me tell you the area gives me the creeps. Bands of aggressive boys roam around and unemployed people can be seen rushing in and out of stores. Unlike the poor in other countries, the parents of these unemployed boys and men get full state support. The more kids they have, the more the state pays them. Often many boys when they turn 20 get dole for the first time and never bother to work for the rest of their lives. Totally bored and without hope, crime is a handy diversion.

    Indians and the Asians are the only ones that seem to have any work. The whites are leaving in droves. South Auckland is fast becoming a Pacific majority area. The only Europeans that are staying put are either too poor to go to the North Shore (another Auckland suburb) or are too lazy or too old to move to Australia.

    Most Indians in the area are not very educated. And the Asians can’t speak English to save their lives. The net result is that opening a small business is the only way they can get out of the lower middle class.

    Also, I may sound callous but greed defines the small business owner.

    Navtej used to close his shop very late at 11pm. His was perhaps the last store in the market that closed. The previous owner used to close at 6.30pm and also during slow times during the day. But Navtej even asked the neighbouring store owner, a Chinese owner of a fish and chips store, to stay open late because business was good between 9pm and 10pm. The Chinese refused.

    Working that late was clearly asking for trouble. In an area of acute poverty and hopelessness, trashy homes, beat up cars, and where rowdy youth roam free, where police presence is zero, you don’t do such things. It was not bravery it was bravado. And Navtej, a good man, got blinded by his enthusiasm.

    The police anywhere in the world are stupid and rubbernecks. Auckland cops are no different. There have been huge scandals in the police force here, pack rapes, corruption but Navtej’s case was pure shitting in the pants. In Auckland, the police react immediately, arriving in seconds if it’s a case of family violence. But dial murder and they take forever. I knew a guy in a Mobil gas station located near a big intersection, who saw a murder bang in the middle of the road. He dialled the cops and when they didn’t arrive after 10 minutes he called them again to be told they were arriving. Finally he saw ordinary folk carry the (perhaps) dying man to hospital.

    In Navtej’s case it wasn’t racism. Yes, they had to follow their code of procedure which says the lives of medics and cops cannot be endangered if they have to hit a crime scene. But a bold officer would have acted quickly and taken the injured man’s family’s word that the gunmen had fled. But sadly there was not one good man brave enough to reach the store.

    Auckland has reached the tipping point in terms of crime. People walk into stores and bully the owners, steal stuff, ask for petrol money. It’s not easy being a store owner.

    I have no idea where this will end. I left New Delhi two years ago and arrived in New Zealand because life is easy here. The lifestyle is laidback, at work the colleagues are laidback. As a journalist life is easier than home because the standards of English here are quite low, whereas in India a single mistake or improper expression can cause mayhem the day after publication. So for me work is relaxed. I use half my brain and it suits me just fine.

    But the other side of the coin is that I have to worry about my wife when she goes out shopping at the mall. And I have reason to worry about my little boy.

    A day after Navtej’s shooting, a bar in the same suburb, Manurewa, was robbed at gunpoint and $4000 taken.

    Two days after Navtej’s shooting, an 80-year-old Chinese woman was killed in her flat by a robber.

    Four days later a Chinese woman and her 8-year-old son were attacked in a parking lot in the biggest mall in the area. The woman died in hospital.

    Minutes before that the same group had tried to attack another Asian woman and tried to snatch her day’s collection. She escaped because she locked her car windows and stayed inside.

    Three days later, a man walked into a jewellery shop and walked away with an emerald costing $8000. As he inspected the gem, he said: You can call your insurance company because I’m taking this. They even opened the security doors for him to leave so nobody would get hurt but the idiot fiddled with the handle and the doors got locked.

    New Zealand has never attracted Indias brightest. Now even the second and third rung talent will think twice about setting out for Aotearoa.

  35. […] from throughout the world congregate here at The Langar Hall and that issues ranging from Kenya, New Zealand, Canada, Panjab, England etc. all interest […]

  36. […] South East Asia’s coverage in The Langar Hall remains sparse, except for often tragic stories that make the world […]

  37. Filipino-Indian says:

    Indians are getting killed in large numbers in the Philippines, mostly Sikh and Punjabis, It has become the most dangerous nation after Iraq for the death rate for Indians by violence.

    Here are the news articles

    http://www.pcij.org/i-report/2007/indians.html

    (documentary on Indians living in fear in the Philippines by Philippine centre for investigative journalism)

    http://www.gmanews.tv/story/145780/2-more-killed-

    http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2009/jan/17/y… = read this

    http://www.gmanews.tv/story/141787/Indian-nationa

    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/metro-manila/02

  38. Filipino-Indian says:

    Indians are getting killed in large numbers in the Philippines, mostly Sikh and Punjabis, It has become the most dangerous nation after Iraq for the death rate for Indians by violence.

    Here are the news articles

    http://www.pcij.org/i-report/2007/indians.html

    (documentary on Indians living in fear in the Philippines by Philippine centre for investigative journalism)

    http://www.gmanews.tv/story/145780/2-more-killed-as-attacks-against-Indians-continue

    http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2009/jan/17/yehey/top_stories/20090117top4.html = read this

    http://www.gmanews.tv/story/141787/Indian-national-shot-dead-near-Batangas-market

    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/metro-manila/02/09/09/indian-national-kidnapped-bulacan