Prabhjot Singh Katri, 23, from Punjab murdered in Nova Scotia

PRABHJOT Singh Katri, 23, who came to Canada from India in 2017 for higher studies, was murdered early on Sunday morning in Truro in central Nova Scotia. (According to the 2016 Census, it’s population was just over 12,000.)

After finishing his studies, Katri had been on a work visa and was driving a cab.

According to news reports, Katri was returning home when he was attacked not far from the apartment he shared with his sister and her husband.

According to the GoFundMe page set up for Katri, “a crazy group of guys” stabbed him in his throat as he was returning home from his friend’s place. “Prabhjot lost his life within half an hour [of] being stabbed,” it said.

Maninder Singh, the victim’s cousin, claimed that his murder was hate-motivated.

He said Prabhjot did two jobs to help his family in India and was waiting to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

“He was an innocent guy returning back from his job. He drove a taxi,” the victim’s friend, Jatinder Kumardeep, was quoted as saying.

Agampal Singh, another friend of the victim, said that he had no enemies.

“We don’t have any idea why this happened. He was a very innocent guy. He didn’t talk with people he didn’t know. And then this thing happens, which has totally destroyed his family and us also. We come to this country for a good future. We are not safe here. I can’t even sleep.”

Daniel Laforge, who lives next door, told Global News that Katri “wasn’t selling drugs and he wasn’t a mean man.”

Laforge said he would frequently see him outside playing cricket with his brother-in-law and Katri would sometimes drive him home during his job as a taxi driver.

A post on the Facebook page of the Maritime Sikh Society stated: “Prabhjot was the youngest of three siblings, left two elder sisters and a mother, having lost his armyman dad at the border in 1999, when only 6 months old. Our heart breaks for the mother who raised three children while grieving for her husband and was looking forward to see his son flourishing, after all the hard work and struggles.”

Photos: Maritime Sikh Society

THE town’s police chief told the media on Tuesday that a man was arrested and then released after the weekend killing.

Chief David MacNeil of the Truro Police Service said there was a 911 call from 494 Robie Street at 2 a.m. on Sunday and officers found a man with life-threatening injuries.

CBC reported that MacNeil confirmed the victim was Katri, who later died of his injuries.

“We executed several search warrants on the weekend and we did have a person of interest that was arrested shortly after. However, they have since been released from our custody without charges related to this homicide at this time,” MacNeil said. That man remains a person of interest, he added.

MacNeil said he met with the victim’s family, friends, and members of the local Indian-Canadian community Sunday night to express his condolences, CBC said.

Darlene MacDonald, who was Singh’s supervisor at Layton’s Taxi, told Global News: “It was more than just a shock. It was devastating.” She added: “He was a sweetheart, period, end of quotation. And it really fricking sucks.”

An online fundraiser had raised more than $80,000 by Wednesday night to send Katri’s body to India.

ACCORDING to a post on Tuesday on the Maritime Sikh Society’s Facebook page, the society’s president, Dr Simardeep Kaur Hundal, met with Truro Mayor Bill Mills, Police Chief MacNeil and main investigating officer Darren Smith at Katri’s family’s residence to discuss justice for the victim.

“They all shared their shock and grief at the horrific incident and assured that they will do their absolute best to bring the culprits to justice,” the society said.

It added: “Though we cannot share the details, we are satisfied with the direction of investigation. We also request the community members, especially youth, to be patient and trust the system.”

The Maritime Sikh Society has organized a candlelight vigil in Truro on Friday night for justice for Katri.