Sydney-siders pray and hold candle light vigil for Manmeet Sharma

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By Neena Badhwar

Sydney held a candle light vigil to remember and pay tribute to 29-year old Manmeet Alisher Sharma, a bus-driver who in Moorooka, Brisbane was burnt alive by 48-year-old Anthony O’Donohue who threw flammable liquid on Manmeet and set him alight.

Police has subsequently charged O’Donohue with one count each of murder and arson and 11 counts of attempted murder in relation to the incident.

A visibly shaken Lord Mayor Graham Quirk called Friday, October 28, a sad day for the council with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk mourned a week “filled with tragedy”.

Manmeet was about to be married and was a poet, writer and a film maker a talented young man who had so much more to offer to Australia, the country he adopted.

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M Sharma vigil 15Sydney-siders gathered in Parramatta to pay their respect to the young man whose tragic death people have not yet come to terms with as they all sat with grim faces some holding placards asking for justice for Manmeet. The big screen displayed Manmeet’s handsome face as people in hundreds stood to hear from politicians, community leaders as well as the police.

The vigil was attended by Federal Member for Parramatta Hon. Julie Owen, and Dr Geoff Lee, NSW MP and Parramatta Mayor and Councillors. They all were saddened by the incident and loss of life of this young man who had done no wrong.

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Members of the community came forward to pay their tribute, some utterly shook to the core whereas others tried to bring calm while expressing concerns for the community which has many taxi as well as bus drivers.  They are rightly worried that if this kind of deplorable act could happen to an innocent man then what else can lay ahead for many others.

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Mothers sat with children quiet yet stoic but sad. The Sikh community is holding another prayer gathering for Manmeet and his family at Parklea Gurdwara this coming weekend. It is a sad time in the history of Australia when common sense and general goodwill has gone missing.

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Although Prime Minister Turnbull has passed on his condolences to Prime Minister Modi in India that the investigation are on it is hoped that faith in humanity is restored by assurance from the government that the M Sharma vigil 5perpetrator will be brought to justice who committed this heinous crime.

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