"He used to tell me, 'don't worry, Canada is very safe'," Jitesh Vasudev said today, recounting his conversations with his 21-year-old son Kartik, who was shot dead in Toronto.
Kartik Vasudev, a resident of Ghaziabad, moved to Toronto this January. He was pursuing a management course in Seneca College there and also worked part-time.
On Thursday evening, he was shot multiple times at the entrance of a subway station in Toronto while he was on his way to work, the city police have said.
An off-duty paramedic attended Kartik and he was subsequently rushed to a hospital, where he succumbed to the gunshot wounds, police have said.
Speaking to NDTV, a shellshocked Jitesh Vasudev said Toronto police informed him yesterday that his son had been shot but added that he has not received any details.
"I have lost my son, but I want justice. I want to know what happened to my son, who shot him and what was the motive. He was just a sincere student who went there two months back. I am trying to contact Toronto police, but they are not replying," he said.
Mr Vasudev said the Indian consulate in Canada had told him that they are in the process of sending Kartik's body to India but it would take about 7-8 days. "I have not got a call or any support from the government here. A couple of things I want from the government: the body of my son be brought back as soon as possible. Secondly, I want justice, I want to know what happened, who is the culprit, he should be punished, he should be caught now," said Mr Vasudev.
He added that it was Kartik's dream to go to Canada. "Sometimes when I spoke to him, he would be coming back from work at around 1 am. He would tell me, 'It is very safe, nothing will happen, you don't worry.' We were very cautious and asked him, why you are coming so late, and he would say that it's a very safe city'," the heartbroken father said.
"It was 4.30 pm when he was shot at the metro station in a downtown area. I cannot believe it is a safe city," he added.
The homicide squad of the Toronto Police Service has taken over the investigation into the shooting. Police have said the suspect in the shooting is a Black male with a medium build.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the Consulate General of India said, "We are shocked & distressed at the unfortunate killing of Indian student Kartik Vasudev in a shooting incident in Toronto yesterday."
"We are in touch with the family and will provide all possible assistance in the early repatriation of mortal remains," it said.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has also expressed his condolences. "Grieved by this tragic incident. Deepest condolences to the family," he tweeted.