Punjab-born bus driver Manmeet Sharma, 29, was burnt alive in a brutal attack in the Australian city of Brisbane as he was doused in a flammable liquid while he stopped to pick up passengers.
PM Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull narendramodi
Sharma, the sibling to an elder brother and two sisters, was also due to marry next year, but destiny had something else stored for him.
Anthony O’Donohue (pictured), 48, has been charged with Alisher’s murder arson dailymail
This was not the first time that an Indian has been killed in Australia in such a manner. In one such incident in 2009, Indian-origin Sravan Kumar Theerthala, 25, was stabbed with a screwdriver. Following this, thousands of Indian students protested in central Melbourne, venting their frustration over recent violent attacks on Indian students. Prior to that there were over 70 assaults on Indians in 2008.
Hundreds attended a vigil for Manmeet Sharma, with over 1,000 people attending a memorial service for the popular member of Brisbane’s Indian community.
“We haven’t told the parents that he’s no more, we just say it’s an accident, he’s in a coma,” family spokesperson Winnerjit Goldy said.
Winnerjit Goldy at the site where Manmeet Sharma was killed brisbanetimes
“Manmeet was a “visionary man” who was a leader in his community. He was not only driver, he is a shining star, a good artist, a good hero, he had made two movies, he was a good social worker, he did a lot of things for his community in Australia even in India also,” Goldy said.
The Queensland Punjabi community, of which Alisher was a prominent member, has banded together and raised money for his family in the wake of his death dailymail
According to Goldy: “We suspect that it may be [racially motivated]. We would like to see due process, we have faith in the Australian system.”