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‘How Can We Save Our Family, Businesses’: Indian Retailers In Auckland

Auckland Indian Retailers Association (AIRA) called for the meeting after the bloody assault at a Kiwi-Indian in Papatoetoe

Small business owners livid after the bloody assault at a Kiwi-Indian Papatoetoe jeweller are planning a big protest to express growing frustration over poor law and order.

Teenage robbers forced their way into Pooja Jewellers on June 23, and pummelled its 50-year-old owner with a hammer before scooting off with gold. 

Three of them were arrested a few days later but anger over the violent assault is simmering in the south Auckland neighbourhood. 

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“How can we save our family, our business,” Jagjeet Sidhu roared as he addressed a meeting of at least 40 small businesses in Papatoetoe on June 26.

The general secretary of Auckland Indian Retailers Association (AIRA), which called for the meeting, echoed a sentiment that hung over the meeting hall like dense fog on a cold winter morning. 

Canva Design DAGJSgKVmrAAuckland Indian Retailers Association (AIRA) called for a meeting on 26 June, 2024

Lawyer Arunjeev Singh was among those present. “Offenders who indulge in these types of armed robberies… they need to be aware that there will be retaliation, or resistance,” he asserted.

Singh's statement pertained to a sentiment that has been simmering for years but has only grown following this week’s gruesome attack at Pooja Jewellers–self-defence and vigilance.

“We should create WhatsApp groups to send out alerts whenever we spot anything suspicious,” a panellist suggested.

The gathering agreed on using social media as a tool to "spot and report" to ensure the safety of business owners.

“We need more streetlights and CCTV installations in the streets…more police patrolling the area,” said one of the retailers present. “We should train our staff to strike back with force,” another argued.


The panellists suggested the idea of organising a protest next week. No dates were discussed but the retailers seemed quite warm to the idea of sending a message to the government.

The panel, consisting of Rajesh Goel, president of AIRA, Arunjeev Singh, and Jagjeet Sidhu emphasised that the New Zealand Police should not be blamed.

“It is the New Zealand judicial system that has loopholes. The New Zealand Police are merely following a manual given to them,” said Singh.

The panel and business owners also shared their concerns about the rising crime rates in Auckland, particularly in retail and business areas. They emphasised that the only way forward is “to establish a deterrent and not rehabilitation” for offenders.

Canva Design DAGJS-3RErEPhoto: Facebook/Supplied

The brother of Gurdeep Singh, who sustained a fracture in his skull while resisting the robbery at Pooja Jewellers, said the 50-year-old was back home after his surgery.

“Doctors have suggested ample rest and we need your love and prayers for his speedy recovery,” Kuldeep Singh said.

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