Youth shot dead in Canada
■ PANCHKULA: A 27-year-old resident of Panchkula, Alok Gupta, was shot dead on the Christmas eve in Surrey, Vancouver, Canada, while he was working as a substitute for his owner at a store so that the latter could spend Christmas with his family.
Alok, a pass-out from Birla Institute of Management and Technology, Noida, had moved to Canada six months ago to pursue higher education. He had taken a part-time job in a small grocery store in Surrey.
According to the Canadian press, Alok's assailants are at large and the police are investigating the case. The police said Alok might have been shot with an intention of robbing the store as cash was looted from the store.
After Alok was shot at, he reportedly went across the street asking for help, but by the time
■ help arrived, he had died. He was found in a pool of blood. He has no criminal past here and in Canada.
He is the fourth such victim who has been killed in Surrey in the recent past. When the incident took place, Alok's parents were away to Germany, where their daughter lives, to celebrate Christmas.
After his schooling from St Stephen's School in Chandigarh, he did his graduation from DAV College. He started working with ICICI Bank in Chandigarh after getting his management degree from Noida.
Alok's father Harivansh Gupta, a retired chief engineer from Punjab, has been living with his wife in Panchkula.
Gupta, who was on way to Panchkula from Delhi, said, "It has come as a shock to us. My son had no rivalry with anyone and was innocent. My nephew, who lives in Canada, has been handed over the body and will be sending it to us here."
Alok's friends and relatives in the town recalled Alok as an optimist, full of life.
The Facebook profile of Alok filled with condolence messages as the word spread. Many of his friends have criticised the Canadian government and the police for the incident. His sister Aditi Gupta Bhutani, too, has sent a message on the Internet, demanding justice for her brother.