"We are also people. Brown people also matter."
A Canadian-Indian taxi driver was found dead in suspicious circumstances at his apartment. Friends fear that he was the victim of a hate crime.
Deputy Chief Robert Hearn said a 23-year-old man was found dead at an apartment building in Truro, Nova Scotia on September 5, 2021.
DC Hearn said: “The investigation is ongoing and there is no risk to the general public at this time.”
Police are now treating the death as a homicide.
While police did not release the victim’s name, friends and family identified him as Prabhjot Singh Katri.
He came to Canada from India in 2017 to study.
Jatinder Kumardeep said Prabhjot was returning to the apartment which he shared with his sister and her husband.
He said: “He’s an innocent guy coming back from his job. He drives a taxi.”
Since his friend died, Jatinder has not slept. He said that there are a few international students in Truro, so most get to know each other.
Jatinder said: “We feel very unsafe.”
He said the small Indian community in the town tends to keep quiet and stay out of trouble.
Jatinder added: “We are also people. Brown people also matter. We are giving our everything to this country. Why is this happening to us?”
His cousin Maninder Singh said:
“He was so nice. We didn’t imagine that this could happen.”
He last spoke with Prabhjot a few weeks ago.
Maninder added: “We don’t know what’s going on … we really want to find out what’s the reason.”
He now fears that the crime was hate-motivated.
“That’s what we are thinking because he was wearing a turban, right?”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to send Prabhjot’s body back home to India and it has raised more than $60,000.
Another friend, Agampal Singh, said:
“Nothing was robbed. Even his phone was in his pocket. We don’t have any idea why this happened.”
He said the Canadian-Indian man had no enemies.
Agampal explained: “He was a very innocent guy. Never had bad company, never smoked, never drank, he didn’t touch drugs. He had only a few friends here.
“He didn’t talk with people he didn’t know. I think it might be a hate crime.”
Agampal said Prabhjot had finished his studies and was applying for permanent residency in Canada.
He continued: “And then this thing happens, which has totally destroyed his family and us also.”
He trusts that the police will bring justice, adding:
“We are coming to this country for a good future. “We are not safe. I can’t even sleep.”