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Indian Retailers Plan Protest Against Rising Crime In Auckland

Indian business owners calling for tougher measures against youth offenders amid increasing violent crime

Local Indian business owners are planning a peaceful protest on Tuesday amid growing fear due to escalating violent crime. They are demanding stricter measures against youth offenders.

Gurdeep Singh, 50, owner of Pooja Jewellers, was injured last week when teenage armed robbers attacked him with a hammer and a knife. The incident occurred at his family-owned store on Kolmar Road, Papatoetoe, last Sunday evening. Singh sustained a fractured skull and underwent surgery at Auckland City Hospital. He has since been discharged and is recovering at home with his family.

Three teenagers, aged 15, 16, and 17, have been arrested and charged with aggravated robbery with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The 16-year-old faces an additional charge of aggravated assault, while the 15-year-old is also charged with assault.


Also Read: https://www.indianweekender.co.nz/news/kiwi-indian-jewellery-store-owner-seriously-injured-in-armed-robbery


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In response to the attack, business and community leaders met last Wednesday. They decided to protest peacefully at the corner of East Tamaki Rd and Great South Rd in Papatoetoe. Auckland Indian Retailers Association general secretary Jag Sidhu told The New Zealand Herald the need for legislative changes, stating, "It will be a peaceful protest, but we want to make our voices heard about wanting legislations to be changed."

Association president Rajesh Goel highlighted the community's growing insecurity in a letter addressed to the police, noting that many businesses, especially dairies, liquor stores, petrol stations, and jewellery stores, are frequently targeted by armed offenders. He pointed out that the situation has become so perilous that business owners are being seriously injured or killed in daylight robberies, often by very young offenders.

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The protest aims to show solidarity with retail crime victims and express frustration at the rising number of thefts, robberies, ram raids, and violent crimes. Protestors will march from Great South Rd to Sutton Cres, dispersing outside the Papatoetoe recreation centre.

Detective Inspector Karen Bright acknowledged the community's concerns: "The violent behaviour we have seen play out is totally unacceptable. We understand how distressing incidents like these are for victims and we hope these arrests will help provide reassurance to both the victims in this case and to the community.” She also indicated that further arrests were likely, The New Zealand Herald reported.


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CCTV footage from the incident showed Singh’s son, Sunny, defending his father with a ceremonial sword, driving back the attackers. Singh, a former chairman of the Papatoetoe Local Business Association, had been actively campaigning for the safety of shop owners. Sunny Singh voiced his support for the upcoming protest, stating that he would attend the Tuesday event.

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