Little India riot: Accident victim was sole earner in family

Little India riot: Accident victim was sole earner in family
Freelance artist Suresh Vanaz, 33, leaving flowers in front of a tribute board set up in Mr Sakthivel's memory at the junction of Race Course Road and Tekka Lane. He is collecting money through Facebook to send to the victim's family.

Indian accident victim Sakthivel Kumaravelu, whose death sparked Sunday's riot, was the sole breadwinner in his family.

Three years ago, he had travelled abroad for the first time in his life, arriving in Singapore to earn a living to support his family back home.

On Tuesday, the 33-year-old's death and the riot were reported in several main newspapers in India, including The Hindu and Times of India, but there was no commentary on the incident.

Mr Sakthivel is survived by his mother Rajalakshmi, 53, and younger brother Ramesh, 25.

In his village of Chattiram, 400km from Chennai, Mr Sakthivel's death was met with shock and disbelief. Friends and neighbours wonder how the family, poor and without any other source of income, will cope.

Five years ago, his father died from an illness. Three years ago, his younger brother Ramesh, who was working as a driver, was involved in an accident that left him with a brain injury and unable to work.

Then three months ago, his sister Maheshwari, 22, for whose marriage the family sold off a small piece of land, died under mysterious circumstances in her in-laws' house in Kerala state. The case is still under investigation.

It was at the sister's funeral three months ago that his mother and younger brother last saw him.

"Sakthivel's mother is in bad shape. She is crying. Both she and the younger brother are refusing to eat. We are all very worried," said Mr Bala Sundaram, 22, a next-door neighbour.

"She keeps saying she wants to see her son."









 



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