Slain shopkeeper Arun Kumar farewelled

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 16:52 14/06/2014
Arun Kumar
Supplied
KILLED: Arun Kumar was stabbed in front of his wife.

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A proud daughter of slain shopkeeper Arun Kumar stood before nearly a thousand people today and said how blessed they had been to have him in their life.

In a Hindu ceremony, Sheenal Kumar spoke directly to the soul of her father.

"As we are part of you, you are part of us," she said, as her grief-stricken brother Shiv stood beside her.

"You will see us become the people you hope we would become."

Arun Kumar, 57, was stabbed in his Henderson dairy on June 10, dying at the scene.

Mourners included Auckland Mayor Len Brown, local government politicians, members of parliament and detectives working on the case.

Sheenal said her father was a really great man and they had been truly blessed to have had him in their lives.

''Your honour and legacy will live through us."

She expressed sadness that they would not now have the opportunity to care for their father in his later years as he had cared for his parents.

Shivneel was emotional and apologised for only being able to speak briefly.

"Life is short, go home to your loved ones and make every minute of your lives count."

In the funeral programme widow Anita Kumar said her partner of 30 years had been an exceptional man.

"Your caring nature and kindness is deeply appreciated."

As the service began, a pundit or priest, Krishneel Sharma said prayers in Sanskrit which included praying for the souls of the "two young people in this incident".

Master of ceremonies Sam Achary said the rites and speeches were "not to speak of why and how" Kumar died, but rather to farewell him.

He said as they were strong in their faith, they knew that they never lost people or love.

"The body has run its course but the soul lives forever."

Family member Arvind Rattin told the mourners Kumar "was still loved, is still near."

The family also thanked families, friends and people throughout New Zealand for the support through difficult times.

The programme described Kumar as "a happy soul born on 1st of January, 1957, in Korovouto, Nadi."

It said he and his wife had migrated to New Zealand in 2003 and continued his bank career that spanned 28 years.

He purchase the dairy and "became his own boss" in 2009.

"(He) was a man of strong faith who brought joy into the lives of others through his jovial and sociable manner. A keen and creative musician, he enjoyed many indoor and outdoor activities during his lifetime."

Kumar's funeral, coloured with Sanskrit, Hindi and Fijian, took place at a new funeral home that specialises in Hindu services and provides the opportunity, as is custom, for family to witness the cremation.

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