Indian community targeted in New Zealand

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{image-navneet singh_11062008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Auckland, Jun 11: The 12,000 strong Sikh community in New Zealand's Auckland area is in a state of shock, after the cold-blooded murder of one Navtej Singh, who worked at a local liquor shop, five days ago.

Demanding that the accused be brought to book, the aggrieved Sikhs said that the Indians were being targeted, and demanded that they should be given authority to defend themselves. They alleged that shops and small businesses run by Indians were on target of bad elements and drug-addicts who wanted money to satisfy their urge for drugs. The Sikhs rejected the latest killing being an example of racial attack, reported the stuff.co.nz

Sandeep Verma, who was with Navtej when he was shot and when he later died in hospital, said: "What is happening in South Auckland? 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?"

Rejecting of it being a racial attack, Manpreet Singh, leader of the Manuwera Sikhs, said: "As more Indians are hard-working, and they have within their families this background, so they have got into small business like liquor shops. They are the majority owning these stores. So they are targeting these stores. The bad elements there, they are for the money and they are under the drug influence."

Manpreet further said: "We have respect for the law and we don't want to take the law into our hands; we wait for justice to be done."

Manukau community board member Kanwaljit Bakshi, who is also the National Party's Manukau East electorate candidate, said shopkeepers wanted to protect themselves and wanted help from police. "We are a law-abiding people, but we still need the self-defence, right? If we want to defend ourselves, we should be allowed to defend. It is not that Indians are being targeted, it is the shops that are being targeted, small businesses and these are family-operated business. We are guys working from seven o'clock in the morning to 11 in the evening doing good for the community."

ANI

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