M A I N   N E W S

Death in OZ
Indian toddler’s autopsy inconclusive

Melbourne, March 5
A three-year-old Indian toddler was found dead on the side of a road in the northern suburbs here on Thursday evening six hours after he went missing from home. Gurshan Singh Channa’s body was found in long grass around 30 km away from his residence around 7 pm on Thursday with no obvious signs of injury. An autopsy was conducted but it failed to determine the cause of death.

The Victorian state police said that it was clear that the child did not die of natural causes. Homicide detectives are leading the investigation, which is officially classified as suspicious. The police said there were no suspects identified.

Gurshan, who went missing from Lalor suburb, had come to Australia from India with his parents on January 9. However, his father, Harjit Singh Channa could not get work and the family was to return to India next week.




Most unfortunate, says Krishna

New Delhi: India on Friday termed as “most unfortunate” the killing of a three-year-old Indian boy in Melbourne as the murder triggered shock and outrage in the country. “We are yet to get details of this most unfortunate incident,” External Affairs Minister SM Krishna told Parliament. The government had asked the Indian consulate in Melbourne to contact the family. — TNS




Kotkapura in mourning
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Kotkapura, March 5
A pall of gloom has descended on Lajpat Nagar here, family home of the Channas. They were awaiting the family’s return when news of the death of three-year-old Gurshan reached them today morning.

“I could not believe my ears when Harjit (Gurshan’s father) called me up this morning with the tragic news,” said paternal uncle Darshan Singh, who lives in this very locality. He recalled how a couple of weeks back Harjit had called up to say that they would be returning to India on March 8.

Harjit’s parents live in Canada with his elder brother and the family home was locked. “On hearing the news, I rushed to Guru Har Sahai to be with Harjit’s in-laws. Gurshan had spent many months with his maternal grandparents after his birth and they were very attached to him,” Darshan Singh said.Before leaving for Australia, Harjit was running a gym here. He went to Melbourne two months back after his wife was granted a student visa.

“We do not know what happened to our child... All we can do is offer ardas before Waheguru and pray for strength to the couple to bear the irrevocable loss,” Darshan Singh said. Gautam Gupta, secretary of the Federation of Indian Students of Australia, told The Tribune over telephone from Melbourne that Gurshan’s parents had recorded their statement before the police this evening.

Tim Singh, councillor of Darebin, a suburb of Melbourne, spent much of the morning and afternoon with the Channas at their home. He told The Tribune over the phone that the incident had shattered the couple and shocked every Indian living in Australia. “The parents of the child have refused to talk to the media,” he said.

One of Channas’ housemates, Sim Kaur, told the police that Gurshan was screaming and throwing a tantrum because his father had gone into the library without him. He then went quiet and Sim assumed that the child had followed his father to the library.

Gurshan’s mother, who is studying in Melbourne, was taking a shower at the time. Later, the family realised that the boy was nowhere to be found at home or in the library and alerted the police about his disappearance around 1.10 pm local time on Thursday. 



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