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Pacific Tears and anger at last farewel

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by spnadmin, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. spnadmin

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    Tears and anger at last farewell

    Tears and anger at last farewell - National - NZ Herald News

    Ravneet and Anna Sangha were farewelled cradling each other in the same coffin, among outpourings of grief at their premature deaths.

    More than 500 people attended the murdered mother and daughter's funeral in Tauranga yesterday, filling the crematorium and spilling into the carpark.

    The family of Dev Sangha, Mrs Sangha's husband and Anna's father, said he had been faring well since arriving back in New Zealand on Tuesday, but was inconsolable at the service.

    Spokesman Daljit Singh told of the harsh end to a promising journey for the Sanghas, who immigrated six years ago from India.

    "They came to New Zealand to have a bright future", he said.

    "[Anna] should be a happy girl playing with her mum. We don't want to see a 2-year-old kid sharing a coffin."

    Mr Singh said it had been a strenuous day for Mr Sangha. It had begun with prayers in his Otumoetai house - the first time he had returned since his wife's and daughter's bodies had been found there on Sunday and Monday.

    Mr Sangha was considering moving from the Ngatai Rd address.

    Another Sikh service would be held in a week, after which Mr Sangha would be encouraged to "try and get on with his life", said Mr Singh.

    Politicians, taxi drivers and workers from the local orchards joined members of the Sikh community to support Mr Sangha.

    Vivender Singh, a bottle-store owner who was also involved in a high-profile violent incident last year, travelled from Auckland to show solidarity with the family.

    Mr Sangha, 37, worked as a taxi driver for Tauranga Mount Taxis, and Mrs Sangha, 32, had packed fruit for Seeka Kiwifruit Industries in Katikati.

    Anna had been born in the orchard cottage which the couple had shared on Mrs Sangha's work premises. A co-worker of Mrs Sangha, Deepak Nagpal, 23, who boarded in the Sanghas' Otumoetai home, is charged with her murder. He is likely to face further charges.

    Tauranga Sikh Society secretary Purdeep Singh Banwait said the mystery of what caused the deaths was troubling to their community.

    "Unless you had lived in that home you would not know. [Nagpal] had been there for a year and a half, and they trusted him. It is a mystery."

    Mr Sangha earlier said that Nagpal had babysat Anna and changed her nappies. He and his wife had given their boarder access to their bank accounts.

    Postings on Nagpal's social networking site expressed surprise and also anger at his suspected role in the death.

    He had studied business at Auckland Wise Institute in Karangahape Rd while also living and working in Tauranga.

    A week after returning from a trip to India at the beginning of this month, he was arrested in Auckland after a tip-off from a member of the public.

    "He was one of us," said Mr Banwait. "They thought they knew him, and that he was caring."

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