More than 200 people turned up to a public memorial for stabbed West Auckland shopkeeper Arun Kumar tonight.
Kumar, 57, was stabbed in the neck on Tuesday morning while working behind the counter at Railside Dairy in Henderson - the business he owned with his wife for the last five years.
A 13-year-old boy has been charged with his murder, and assault with intent to rob his dairy.
A 12-year-old boy was accused of assault with intent to rob.
Friends, family and business associates spoke of a compassionate father who was very religious and respectful of his culture and the culture of others.
At the service was family friend Radhamani Kumar. She said Arun Kumar was a happy and kind man who helped her with the loss of her father – fatally stabbed by a 16-year-old – while driving his taxi in 1995.
“I’m saddened to lose someone like Arun – he was a family-orientated person and a fantastic dairy owner who served his customers with love and dignity. I hope his wife and kids will have the strength and courage to face this difficult time.”
A young girl approached people at the door, asking if they would like a flower as they made their way to pay respects at the open casket.
Among the conversation about Kumar’s friendly personality was a common concern about the youth in West Auckland.
Members of the community, who did not want to be named, said contrary to media reports they did not blame the police.
Radhamani Kumar agreed: “The police did what they could. They are actually very good. It’s the kids. We need to find a way to do something about the kids…somehow…”
Others claimed the council was not providing West Auckland police with enough resources and said all the money went to South Auckland communities.
It was a sentiment echoed among those at the service, who talked about West Auckland youth roaming busy streets and asking for food.
Debate has surfaced again about whether or not the haka should be performed before an international rugby match. What do you think?Related story: (See story)