Wellington, December 23

Amid growing incidents of crime and violence against dairy workers and owners in New Zealand, an Indian-origin dairy owner’s shop was targeted by a group of burglars.

Ajit Patel, who owns a dairy on Melrose Road, Auckland, told 1News that five masked men with baseball bats came into his store for about 10 to 15 seconds.

The men tried to take the till but didn’t succeed, police said.

Patel’s shop was among the six stores across Auckland and Waikato areas of the country that were targeted by a group of burglars early this week.

“Police are following lines of inquiry to locate the offenders and to determine whether the incidents are linked,” 1News quoted a spokesperson as saying.

The incident comes just days after four men entered Indian-origin Puneet Singh’s dairy store in Hamilton and cut off two fingers of his employee with a machete.

Exactly a month before, Janak Patel, 34, was stabbed to death by robbers at Rose Cottage Superette in Sandringham, Auckland, where he worked.

Following Janak’s death, New Zealand erupted in protests with people turning up in huge numbers shouting ‘enough is enough’ and holding placards reading, ‘change the law’, in front of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s electoral office in Mt Albert.

Most of the dairy owners and workers in New Zealand, who are of Indian-origin, say they fear going to work after Janak’s brutal killing. IANS

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