Family calls for justice after Toronto shooting

Published 25/04/2022

The father of a 21-year-old Indian student shot dead in Canada on April 7 has launched a petition to try and obtain answers about his son’s murder.

Kartik Vasudev, a global management student at Seneca University in Toronto, was shot multiple times outside a subway station at 5 pm while on his way to his part-time job at a restaurant.

Vasudev, who had begun his studies in Canada in January this year, was taken to hospital where he subsequently died.

Richard Jonathan Edwin, 39, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, for this and another fatal shooting that took place three days after Vasudev’s death.

“I want the Indian government to launch an investigation to find out why that unknown man killed my son”

A Toronto police chief told reporters that these murders were “random acts of violence” and that Edwin was a “complete stranger” to both victims.

Writing on after the second court hearing on April 20, Jitesh Vasudev, Kartik’s father, said: “When I set my eyes on [Edwin], I wanted to hold him by his shirt, shake him and ask ‘Why my Kartik?’”

“Every time I close my eyes, I see my son’s face. I want the Indian government to launch an investigation to find out why that unknown man killed my son.”

The petition currently has over 29,000 signatures.

“Our international students have every right to ask if they can be assured that they have come to a safe city and country,” David Agnew, president of Seneca University, wrote in a statement. “Indeed, when such violence happens, we all ask ourselves what has become of our community.

“This is not a time for statistics, but I want to reassure all of the Seneca community that Toronto, Ontario and Canada remain among the safest places on earth. Sadly, but inevitably, bad things happen. They are rare.”

Speaking to The PIE News, a spokesperson from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said the government would “continue to ensure international students have access to the supports that they need while in Canada and that they feel safe in the communities that they choose to call home”.

“The government recognises the tremendous social, cultural and economic benefits that international students bring to Canada. Canada’s diverse and inclusive society, high-quality educational institutions, and opportunities to work or immigrate after graduation have made Canada a leading destination of choice for students from around the world,” they said.

“We are extremely saddened by this tragic event and send our sincere condolences to the family. At this time, it would be premature of IRCC to comment further due to the ongoing investigation.”

According to Indian newspapers, Jitesh Vasudev has also asked the Indian government to waive the loan he took out to fund his son’s education.

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