The city’s Indian community has been left shocked and saddened by an alleged murder at the Ballarat Curry House.
Royal Indians Restaurant owner Peter Gaur said the tight-knit Indian community in Ballarat were reeling after a man, believed to be aged in his 30s, was found dead at the the Bridge Street eatery at about 8.30pm on Tuesday night.
Mr Gaur said while he did not know the victim, who is yet to be formally identified by police, he knew some staff who worked at the competitor restaurant where the incident occurred.
Media outlets report the victim is alleged to have been a customer at the restaurant while the suspect is believed to have been a staff member.
“It is such a small community of Indian people in Ballarat that everybody knows each other,” Mr Gaur said.
“Many of them work in the hospitality industry or they own their own Indian restaurants so it’s hurt people in our community very deeply.”
“To put it simply, it is just so sad because not only has a human-being died, but it has also made people very fearful of being in their place of work and doing their job.”
Mr Gaur said he dined at the restaurant where the alleged murder occurred many times previously.
“My heart goes out to the staff and the customers at the restaurant who were there when this terrible tragedy occurred,” he said.
Mr Gaur said he had spoken to other nearby restaurant traders who were left “shaken up” by the incident.
“Something like this hits a regional city or country town really hard because when you work in the same industry there is a sense of mutual respect despite working competitor restaurants,” he said.
“You often know people personally.”
Mr Gaur who provides free meals to the city’s homeless and unemployed at his Sturt Street restaurant said more needed to be done to curb social issues which lead to crime in Ballarat.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.