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Gov't reaches out to India after Cherry Gardens murder

Published:Sunday | February 12, 2017 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott

The Government of Jamaica has reportedly reached out to the Indian Government to offer condolences following last week Thursday's shooting incident in the St Andrew community of Cherry Gardens where men armed with guns killed 25-year-old sales manager at Caribbean Jewellers, Rakesh Talreja.

Talreja was from Vasai in India but had been living in Kingston for the past two-and-a-half years.

Reports are that the armed men entered Talreja's home, which he shared with two other Indian nationals. After snatching an undetermined sum of cash and cell phones from Talreja's roommates at gunpoint, the criminals entered his bedroom on the first floor of the house. It is reported that after robbing Talreja of his cell phone, the gunmen shot him in the back three times. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Kingston Public Hospital, while his housemates underwent treatment at the University Hospital of the West Indies after they, too, were shot.

India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, on Saturday, said that she was sorry to learn of the tragedy.




"My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families," she stated.

She disclosed that the Jamaican Government has been cooperating with the Indian High Commission in Kingston regarding the incident, which made headlines in the Indian press.

"We are grateful to Prime Minister of Jamaica Mr Andrew Holness for his condolences on the tragic death of Indian national Rakesh Talreja," said Swaraj, adding that Jamaica's foreign affairs minister, Kamina Johnson Smith, had also conveyed condolences to the Indian government.

On her Twitter account, the Indian minister said that she had directed the high commission in Kingston to ensure that the best possible treatment is provided to the injured Indian nationals and to coordinate with the affected families.

"[The] Indian High Commission in Jamaica will follow up this case with the police and help you in all possible manner," she said in an apparent message to worried Indian nationals living in Jamaica.