MUMBAI: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday called on the family of the Vasai youth who was shot dead by four unidentified gunmen in his Kingston home in Jamaica on Thursday.
The victim, Rakesh Talreja (25), worked as a salesperson for Caribbean Jewellers in Kingston. On Friday morning, Rakesh’s parents, who reside on Ambadi Road in Vasai (W), got a call from his employer informing that their son had been shot dead at around 7.10 pm (Jamaican time) on Thursday. India is over 10 hours ahead of Jamaica.
“Swaraj assured us that all help will be given in completing the formalities and bringing back the body,” said Rakesh’s cousin Poonam Ahuja, who briefed the minister of what had transpired on the night of the incident.
The Constant Spring police is still to get any leads on the four unidentified men. They are believed to have entered Rakesh’s home in Cherry Gardens, Kingston 8, which he shared with two Indians, with an intention to rob. Rakesh was in his bedroom on the first floor. The men reportedly took the roommates’ cash and cellphones at gunpoint and then snatched Rakesh’s cellphone. It is not known if he resisted.
Before leaving, the men pumped three bullets in Rakesh’s back and also shot at his roommates and fled. Rakesh was rushed to Kingston Public Hospital, but declared dead before admission. His two roommates, who were shot in their legs, are undergoing treatment in the University hospital of the West Indies.
Media on Saturday in an exclusive report had mentioned how the family was trying in vain to get information about what transpired before the shooting.
Swaraj tweeted that the Indian High Commission in Jamaica will follow up this case with the police and help in all possible manner. The Constant Spring police are examining footage collected from closed-circuit television cameras in the vicinity to get leads on the killers’ identity.
The minister directed the Indian High Commission in Jamaica to ensure best possible treatment to Rakesh’s injured room mates. She sought a detailed report on the shooting.
Officials of the Indian High Commission in Jamaica met the police and even visited the crime scene. Rakesh’s brother-in-law Vicky Lakhani said that Rakesh’s elder brother Mahesh who works in Africa may travel to Jamaica to complete the procedures to get back the body.
Rakesh’s father Prakash said that all he wants is the killers to be nabbed. He said that the shooting has put a fear into the Indian community in St Andrew. He urged the minister to follow up with the Constant Spring police to launch a manhunt for the killers.
The victim’s Vasai home on Saturday saw hordes of people calling on the family. Vasai-Virar mayor Pravina Thakur called on the family and assured all possible help.
Neighbours and friends remembered Rakesh as a calm boy who seemed happy with his job. “He had promised to bring foreign chocolates on his return from Jamaica. Cant believe that we will see his body instead,” said a neighbour.