An Indian man was found dead in his house by his flatmates in Christchurch on Sunday, November 17.

The police have identified the man as Bala Murugan Murugesan, 33, who worked as a chef at a popular restaurant in Christchurch. 

Mr Murugeshan hailed from a small town in Madurai in Chennai, South India and came to New Zealand earlier in February this year. He was on a three-year Essential Skills Work Visa that is due to expire at the end of 2021. Mr Murugan is survived by his wife and five-year-old daughter living in India.

Auckland Tamil Association President Vai Ravindran and Canterbury Indian Tamil Association President Vijay Nainamalai are coordinating with family, friends and the community at this distressful hour. 

Mr Nainamalai is also currently liaising with the police, the family of the deceased in India and the Indian High Commission to repatriate Mr Murugeshan’s body to his family in India.

Auckland Tamil Association President Vai Ravindran

Speaking with The Indian Weekender Mr Nainamalai said, "I have constantly been in touch with Bala's flatmates ever since this unfortunate news broke out."

"Apparently Bala had a day-off on Sunday while his colleagues who were also his flatmates left for work.

"His flatmates failed to contact him on his phone when they called him to ask if they could get him dinner packed from the restaurant," Mr Nainamalai said. 

"When they returned home, Bala was nowhere to be found in his room, and his body was discovered in the garage. Bala's flatmates then called the police to report the incident.

“The post-mortem has been conducted,” Mr Nainamalai said.

Police media has confirmed that they are not treating the death as suspicious and the matter has been referred to the coroner.

Mr Nainamalai has also set up a Givealittle Page to raise funds to cover his body repatriation expenses and to help his family.

According to his flatmates, Mr Murugeshan was a jovial but quiet and calm person and kept to himself.

“Bala’s flatmates are devastated to see their colleague and flatmate dead,” Mr Nainamalai said.

The Indian High Commission is liaising with the family of the deceased and making arrangements to repatriate his body back to his hometown in India. His body was repatriated on Friday, November 29. 

Meanwhile, Auckland Tamil Association president Vai Ravindran told The Indian Weekender it is a sad moment for the community and we are in touch with Bala's family and office of the Indian High Commission to assist with the body repatriation. 


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