In yet another incident involving an Indian student in New Zealand, young Charanpreet Singh Dhaliwal was found dead at his workplace on the very first day of his employment on the night of Friday, November 18.
The 21 year old Sikh student’s body was found at a West Auckland construction site – near the Lincoln Road- North Western Motorway over bridge – at about 3.00am.
Though at first the police treated his death as suspicious, it has now been deemed a homicide investigation. Charanpreet is understood to have died as a result of injuries to his head. Details of the port mortem of his body have not been released pending further investigations codenamed ‘Operation Hope’.
Meanwhile, the police released the deceased’s body to the community this week. The Sikh community in Auckland raised $15,000 – $8000 to fly the young student's body home and another $7000 for his widowed mother Karamjit Kaur, who lives with another son back in Punjab, India.
Charanpreet was a former student of New Zealand School of Education. A devout Sikh, he was working to pay for his IT studies and to send to his family in India. He had reportedly raised $13, 000 so far.
“Charanpreet was known to all the staff members as a dedicated and hardworking student,” said a spokesperson for the institute, speaking to Indian Weekender.
Cherag Elavia, owner of CNE, the company Charanpreet worked for, told One News Dhaliwal wasn’t meant to be working on the night the assault happened. “The person who was supposed to work didn’t want to work that night, and this person wanted a job, so I said ‘look you want a job you can come and try this shift on,’ and he agreed, and that's what happened,” he said.
Charanpreet’s classmate Aman Singh said, “He had no enemies … He just goes to his job and comes straightaway to home, and spends all the time with us. So it's hard for us to understand how it could happen.”
An email from Supreme Sikh Council to this website said, "Supreme Sikh Council of New Zealand as Sikh organization [is] looking after this case."
Police have appealed to the public for any information that may lead to progress in the investigations.
“Security surveillance footage is being widely accessed and reviewed. Industrial locations near the construction site are of interest to us. We are viewing all available footage from this area,” Detective Senior Sergeant Stan Brown of the Waitakere CIB said.
“Several persons are known to have been in the vicinity prior to or about the time the security guard’s body was discovered. We would like these people to come forward to advance our enquiries. We want to identify these individuals,” he added.
The police believe that the public can play a crucial role in this investigation and that someone has the essential information needed to advance this enquiry.
“I urge anyone who has information that will assist Police, to call the Operation Hope investigation team immediately, on 0800 OP HOPE – [0800 674 673] – or alternatively call Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111,” Detective Brown said.