UPDATED: A deadly altercation in a central Ballarat Indian restaurant has left one man dead and another facing murder charges.
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A Nepalese man believed to have recently moved to Ballarat, was charged over the alleged murder on Tuesday night and will remain behind bars until at least March.
The CBD restaurant community woke to the alarming news and have been left shaken by the shocking incident..
Hari Prasad Dhakal, 49, appeared briefly before the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning for a filing hearing.
Details of the alleged incident were not revealed in court, but it was reported the incident involved the staff of the restaurant and a customer who later died.
Dhakal’s lawyer, Andrew Madden, told the court this was his client's first time in custody. He said Dhakal, who could speak English, was Nepalese and had no family in Ballarat. He was residing at Reid’s Guest House in Lydiard Street.
Dhakal made no application for bail and was remanded in custody to reappear in court on March 16.The victim, believed to be in his 30s, was found dead at Ballarat Curry House in Bridge Street at about 8.30pm.
The two-storey restaurant seemed almost untouched on Wednesday morning with tables set for dining.
But there were small signs of disturbances – a woman’s black jacket left draped over a chair, a pair of headphones dropped near the window.
Outside, neon open signs were flashing as people stopped to observe the scene.
Bridge Mall centre manager John Marios said while the incident occurred in the Bakery Hill restaurant precinct, he was confident in the security measures in place around the mall.
“During the daytime hours we have security guards and 62 surveillance cameras, and we don’t operate after hours,” he said.
Cedric Fernando, store manager of Nandos restaurant three doors down from the scene of the crime, was working last night.
“Around quarter past seven, or 7.30pm, we started seeing more and more police cars around our area, outside the restaurant. I saw police officers speaking to members of the public, so I just guessed that something bad had happened up there,” said Mr Fernando.
“When I left the restaurant about quarter past ten, outside the (Ballarat Curry House) there was a police sign and it was sealed off, and police officers were there.
“I turned up for work this morning. I asked one of our neighbours next door and he said someone was dead in the Indian restaurant last night, but how it happened he didn’t know.”
He said surrounding traders were continuing to run as usual.
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