A 25-year-old stonemason due to get married next month died after being savagely beaten while celebrating a Hindu festival at a downtown restaurant in the Australian city of Sydney, police said Thursday. Sanjeev Kumar, who lived in the western Sydney neighborhood of Parramatta, died Wednesday night after his family, who had flown in from India to be at his hospital bedside, decided to turn off his life support machine, police said. Kumar had been attending celebrations for the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, at an Indian restaurant when he was involved in a brawl in the early hours of Sunday, according to Detective Inspector Darren Boyd-Skinner. The reason for the fight was not clear. Family friend Rakesh Mehta said Kumar had been in Australia for seven years, first as a student and then working as a stonemason. "He was due to get married in December to his bride in India and was then planning to come back to Australia with his wife," Mehta told reporters.
"He never fights, this was very unusual; he has no criminal record and he was always the type of man who if you met once you would be friends forever," he added. Restaurant manager Rasandeep Singh Gujral, 23, appeared in court earlier this week charged with maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Boyd-Skinner said detectives would consider upgrading the charges against Gujral depending on the results of a post-mortem examination. "While we have one person charged, there is a strong possibility there is more than one person involved in the attack," Boyd-Skinner told reporters. Police did not have details of where in India the family came from, reports the AP. I.L.