SUV Accident Claims Five Lives, Sparks Dispute Over Justice and Body Custody in Indian Community
The aftermath of the devastating SUV crash into the Royal Daylesford Hotel beer garden on Sunday, November 5, has left the tight-knit Indian community of Wyndham grappling with profound sorrow. Five lives were tragically lost in the incident, prompting an outpouring of grief from family, friends, and the broader public. Among the victims was 9-year-old Anvi Sharma, whose family now faces additional distress due to a sensitive dispute over control of her body.
Distraught family members, friends, and local dignitaries gathered to mourn the victims at the Saltwater Reserve in Point Cook last night, placing plastic candles beneath the Sharma family portrait as night fell, casting a poignant glow on the sad scene. However, as the night descended, so did feelings of anger and frustration among some mourners.
One point of contention revolved around the unidentified status of the SUV driver, with family and friends expressing dismay over the lack of a public announcement or interview with the person responsible for the tragic incident. Calls for justice echoed through the grieving community, emphasizing the need for accountability and closure.
"Why are you doing this? They should all be together" -Vikas Sharma
Amidst the collective grief, another sensitive issue emerged—the separation of 9-year-old Anvi Sharma’s body from that of her mother and her partner by Anvi’s biological father. An emotional plea from Vikas Sharma, Pratibha’s older brother, questioned the rationale behind keeping the family members apart during such a painful time.
“Why are you doing this? They should all be together,” Vikas Sharma implored, addressing the assembled media.
The family’s pain is further exacerbated by the delay in cremation, a process deemed crucial for achieving peace and closure in their cultural context. Dr. Sonia Cheema, addressing the media, highlighted the importance of specific rituals within the immigrant community.
“The family is going through profound grief, and they need to have peace and closure by performing the right rituals. It’s an immigrant community that believes in certain kinds of rituals that need to be done. The prayers need to be done; everything needs to be done together to actually let their souls rest in peace,” emphasized Dr. Cheema.
The community now awaits resolution on multiple fronts—justice for the victims, answers regarding the identity of the SUV driver, and the reunification of Anvi Sharma’s body with her family for the final rites. As this tight-knit community continues to grapple with the aftermath of the tragic incident, unity and support remain essential in the journey towards healing.