Wellington, June 14 : A thousand candles burned on the streets of Manurewa and more than 1000 neighbours and residents of Randwick Park, where liquor shop owner Navtej Singh was murdered in a robbery, tonight marched around the suburb's streets.
Holding candles, passing around collection buckets to help the Singh family, and walking the streets of Randwick Park as a unified community of many ethnicities, the quiet march was a burning light on a dark night, at the end of a dark week. Manukau City Councillor for Manurewa Daniel Newman said the community was home to thousands of decent, law-abiding people who were proud of their neighbourhood. "So often the suburbs of Manurewa get a raw deal. Well the local people came together tonight to demonstrate that Randwick Park is comprised of people who care for one another, and who take pride in the place that they call home," stuff.co.nz quoted Newman, as saying.
"As we walked around the streets of Randwick Park tonight, people gave and gave and gave. All the money raised will go to a trust, which has been set up by the New Zealand Sikh Society to support Navtej Singh's widow and family," he added.
Meanwhile, the police have said that the slaying of shopkeeper Navtej Singh has added impetus to plans to put armed patrols on the streets of Auckland to deal with escalating violence.
The proposal, following a top level police review, involves a six month trial of armed patrols on Auckland's streets 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Herald said the proposal would be put to Police Commissioner Howard Broad by August and if approved come into force by March next year.
Police acting national operations manager, Superintendent John Rivers said there was a "strong and obvious connection" with the slaying of Singh.
Police were criticised after last Saturday's fatal raid on Singh's Manurewa shop for taking too long to get into the shop and get help for the fatally wounded man.
Police received the first 111 emergency call at 9.05p.m. but did not enter the shop until 9.31p.m. Ambulance paramedics were allowed in a few minutes later.