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Indian national shot dead, another wounded

Business rivalry angle eyed

CALABANGA, Camarines Sur – An Indian national was shot dead, while another was wounded at zone 4, barangay San Roque, in this town near noontime on Monday (Jan.6), while collecting loan payments from clients in the said rural area.

Calabanga Municipal Police identified the victims as Navjot Singh, 26, and Lakhwinder Singh, 33, both Indian nationals who are residents of Naga City.

According to initial police report, two unidentified motorcycle-riding suspects waited for the foreign nationals near a sari-sari store along a barangay road in the locality.

After the two Indians collected money from Milagros Avila, a local resident, one suspect with handkerchief covering his face shot Navjot Singh with a Cal.45 pistol. Lakhwinder was also shot in his left arm.

Another Indian national, Paramjit Singh, 34, who was waiting inside the Indians' service vehicle, an Isuzu Crosswind, helped the victims and rushed them to the Mother Seton Hospital in Naga City.

Navjot who sustained two fatal gunshot wounds on the chest was declared “dead on arrival” at the hospital.

The Calabanga police said that no cash was taken from the three Indian nationals.

At the Bureau of Immigration (BI) field office in Naga City, Alien Control Officer Jhoanna Occiano said the 26 year old Navjot Singh is an unverified Indian national. Another Navjot Singh who is below 14 years old is the one registered with the Immigration Office in Naga City.

Late last year, Police Provincial director, Senior Supt. Ramiro Bausa, sought a conference with Bureau Immigration lawyer Jose Tria to shed light on the series of armed robberies where Indian nationals were the victims.

Bausa said that in several armed robberies and shooting incidents involving Indian nationals the victims remain uncooperative to police investigators. Reports reaching the Camarines Sur Provincial Police Office indicate that fellow Indian nationals have masterminded armed robberies and shooting of fellow Indians because of reported business rivalries among so called “Bombay-loan” entrepreneurs.

In early 2000, it was reported that a “Bombay loan-shark” syndicate had taken control of the local loan market and were punishing errant members. (SONNY SALES)