Canadian authorities are now treating the suspicious death of a 23-year-old Indian immigrant taxi driver as a homicide after he was found severely injured inside his home last weekend.
What happened: On Sunday, the victim was found with life-threatening injuries inside an apartment building on Robie Street in Truro, Nova Scotia, according to CBC. He was on his way home where he lived with his sister and her husband.
- Truro police later confirmed the victim’s name was Prabhjot Singh Katri while speaking to reporters, Global News reported. He was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
- Katri was coming home from a friend’s house after his shift the night he was killed, VICE World News reported.
- Truro police have yet to release specific details of the case. However, Agampal Singh, the victim’s friend, told CBC there was no robbery involved, adding Katri’s phone was still in his pocket.
- Speaking to reporters, Truro Police Chief Dave MacNeil said there isn’t any evidence to suggest the death was a hate crime at the moment “other than a rumor on social media.” MacNeil also said they would file appropriate charges if it is proven that hate crime was a motive or a factor in Katri’s death. There is fear in the community that he was attacked for his race or because of his turban, which he wears because he is Sikh.
- A person of interest was questioned about the death of Katri but was later released without any charges being made.
- “Everybody’s very worried because they don’t know what’s going on, because the person of interest that they did have in custody, they had had to let them go,” Darlene MacDonald, Katri’s supervisor at the taxi company he worked for, said.
Fear for their safety: The news of Katri’s suspicious death has rocked Truro, a town of about 12,000 people. Jatinder Kumardeep, another friend of the victim, said they feel “very unsafe.”
- “We are also people. Brown people also matter. We are giving our everything to this country,” he added. “Why is this happening to us?”
- Speaking to VICE World News, MacNeil said they are not taking the matter lightly, adding they understand the citizens’ concern for their safety.
- “We’re working diligently on bringing the person or persons responsible for this senseless act to justice, and that’s our focus right at this point in time,” he said. “We don’t believe there’s an ongoing threat to the greater community based on our investigation to date.”
Other details: The victim came to Canada as an international student from Punjab, India in 2017. Katri continued to work in Canada as a taxi driver on a working visa after finishing his studies. He was also reportedly trying to apply for a permanent residency in the country.
- A GoFundMe campaign was launched to help bring Katri’s body back to his family in India. The fundraiser has raised over $87,000 out of its $50,000 goal as of this writing.
Featured Image via GoFundMe