Janak Patel was born in the Indian city of Navsari and had a deep passion for his nation and culture. He was fond of the traditional Gujarati dance style known as Garba, which has its roots in Gujarat, Patel’s native state.
Patel moved to the UK after completing his education and stayed there for ten years. Border restrictions imposed by COVID-19 tore apart many couples, including Janak and Vijeta. He was finally allowed to reunite with her in New Zealand in April of this year. The dream of Patel and his wife was to create their own company. A few days prior, they had moved from Hamilton to Auckland to manage the Rose Cottage Superette in Sandringham, while its owners were away.
Patel ran and tackled the thief who had robbed the store’s cash register. He was able to return to the dairy after being fatally wounded outside but later succumbed to his wounds. In the community, there was an outpouring of sadness and rage following the tragedy.
Patel’s funeral was held at the Wiri Anns Funeral Home. His 34-year-wife, old’s parents, sisters, and other family members and members of the local community. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also attended the funeral and hugged Vijeta Patel, the late man’s widow.
In response to an increase in burglaries and in support of Patel, who was killed while on the job during a suspected violent robbery at the Rose Cottage Superette in Sandringham, several dairies around the nation closed their doors for the past two weeks.
A small, close-knit neighbourhood called Sandringham is referred to as Auckland’s “Little India” due to the augmentation of spice stores, South Indian grocery stores, and some of the top restaurants in the area. It is dotted with “dairies,” or corner stores. They are primarily small, family-run businesses and many are run by immigrant families of the first or second generation.