Indian grandfather killed in one-punch attack after being mistaken for kidnapper at Christchurch park

Ailish Delaney
Grandfather Mewa Singh, 60, was killed in a one-punch attack when he was mistaken for a child abductor in New Zealand.
Grandfather Mewa Singh, 60, was killed in a one-punch attack when he was mistaken for a child abductor in New Zealand. Credit: GiveALittle

An Indian grandfather was mistaken for a child abductor and fatally attacked in a New Zealand park, in an act his family has slammed as “totally unfair”.

Mewa Singh, 60, was visiting his son and grandson in Christchurch when he suffered a fatal blow at the hands of a stranger.

His 32-year-old attacker, whose name has been suppressed, was spending time at Linwood Park on April 7, 2023 with his son when he drove off and left the boy behind to “teach his son a lesson” after the boy did not want to leave when told, according to Stuff.

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When he returned a short time later, the man saw a stranger, later identified as Singh, holding his son’s hand near a bus stop and became enraged, shoving Singh and yelling “that’s my f****** son”.

He drove the child back to his ex-partner’s house and said he’d seen his son with an Indian man.

The boy told his father that Singh was “trying to walk him to daddy’s car”, according to the summary of facts, via Stuff.

The man responded with: “f*** this, I’m going back there to find him”, despite his ex-partner advising against it.

He returned to the park, where he confronted Singh, grabbing the grandfather by his shirt collar and accusing him of trying to abduct his son.

He then delivered a “haymaker-style punch” to his jaw, which caused Singh to fall backwards and hit his head on the pavement.

Believing Singh to be dead, his attacker left and told his ex-partner he thought he killed him. She then phoned emergency services.

Despite being treated in the ICU at Christchurch Hospital, Singh did not regain consciousness and died on April 9.

Singh’s attacker faced Christchurch High Court on Friday, when he pleaded guilty to manslaughter, Stuff reports.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

Speaking to Stuff about the attack 15 months on, Singh’s son Himanshu Keshwer said his family was still beyond devastated.

He said his parents had flown from India for the birth of their second grandchild and described his father as a caring man who would never harm anyone.

Keshwer said his father was taking a daily walk through Linwood Park when the incident unfolded.

“He was a very good human being,” he said.

Keshwer said what happened to his father was “totally unfair”.

“Someone killed my dad and I couldn’t do anything, and still can’t do anything,” he told the outlet.

“It makes me sad, it shouldn’t have happened.”

A fundraiser was launched to support Singh’s family and transport his body back to India, raising $16,316, which exceeded the $15,000 goal.

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