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Indian Mistaken for Kidnapper Killed in New Zealand; Attacker Pleads Guilty

Mewa Singh, a 60-year-old Indian grandfather visiting New Zealand to celebrate the birth of his second grandchild, tragically lost his life after an altercation at a Christchurch skate park. The incident occurred when a 32-year-old father, mistaken in his belief that Singh was kidnapping his own grandson, punched him, causing fatal injuries.

Singh, who had arrived in New Zealand from India in December 2022 to support his son and daughter-in-law, was taking his routine walk through Linwood Park in April 2023 when the misunderstanding occurred. The attacker had left his 7-year-old son at the park as a disciplinary measure. Upon returning and seeing Singh holding the boy's hand, he wrongly assumed an abduction was taking place and confronted Singh aggressively.

The confrontation escalated quickly, with the attacker shouting and shoving Singh before delivering a fatal punch that caused him to fall and hit his head on the pavement. Singh was rushed to Christchurch Hospital in critical condition but succumbed to his injuries two days later.

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The devastating impact on Singh's family was profound. His son, Himanshu Keshwer, received the heartbreaking news from the police and described being in shock and unable to comprehend the sudden loss. Keshwer recalled the joyful moments spent with his father, including the touching memory of Singh holding his newborn grandchild for the first time.

Reflecting on his father's character, Keshwer praised Singh as a compassionate and helpful individual who always sought to assist others. The tragic incident forced Keshwer to sell his business and return to India to care for his grieving mother, upending their lives in New Zealand where they had lived for over a decade.

The attacker, whose identity remains protected under New Zealand law, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the High Court at Christchurch. He is scheduled to be sentenced in October 2024, as reported by local media outlet Stuff. In response to the family's ordeal, the New Zealand Sikh Society initiated a fundraising effort to support them in their journey back to India and to help them cope with the profound loss of Mewa Singh.

July 10, 2024 1:31 p.m. 431

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