The family of an Indian international student who was found dead in Marysville in regional Victoria earlier this week, wants to know more about the circumstances leading to his death. They have demanded a full-scale investigation after Police said they are "not treating this death as suspicious".
A family is in complete shock and disbelief after Poshik Sharma was found dead in Marysville in the foothills of Victorian Alps northeast of Melbourne on 15 July.
Missing for four days after a ‘mild argument’ with his friends at a Marysville pub, Mr Sharma’s body was found in nearby bushland.
The 21-year-old Indian national had come to Australia about 18 months ago as an international student.
Victoria Police says there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr Sharma’s death.
“There is no suggestion of foul play. We don’t believe there were any suspicious circumstances,” Inspector David Ryan said earlier this week.
Listen to this audio report to know what police said about Mr Sharma's death.
But Simran Sharma, who is the sister of the deceased, said that ‘something is not right’.
“My brother was an ambitious person who had a bright future ahead of him. It is very hard to believe that he could do self-harm,” said Ms Sharma in an interview with SBS Punjabi.
“Police says there is nothing suspicious about it but we cannot gulp this even for a microsecond, knowing fully well that Poshik was such a happy go lucky person.”
The family has demanded a full-scale investigation after providing reasons for their disbelief.
“He was doing well financially, physically, mentally, emotionally as well as socially. We all are pretty sure that suicide cannot be a scenario even in Poshik's wildest dreams," she said.
“We’re seeking answers as to truly what occurred before his death. We don’t know if the case file is closed. If this is the case then we demand a full-scale investigation by experts."
“I struggle to sleep and I am desperate to know the mystery behind his death. Our family fears that it was murder which is now being enveloped in the name of suicide.”
Ms Sharma said that the family wants the authorities to investigate it ‘like murder and not as a suicide’.
Ms Sharma told SBS Punjabi that the 'coroner has now acknowledged' their request to do a post-mortem after hearing their concerns.
“We hope to receive the autopsy report and other findings sometime soon. We hope things will be more clear after we access this information,” she said.
SBS Punjabi has contacted Victoria Police again today, to find out if there is any further development.
A spokesperson said Police stands by its assessment that Mr Sharma's death is "not suspicious." They confirmed that a coroner's investigation is underway, and no further comments will be made until it's completed.
An email received by the Sharma family from the Coroner's office indicates that the "medical examination report will be finalised in approximately 12-20 weeks."
Ms Sharma says the family is distraught after this terrible tragedy and spoke of her brother as "a free spirit" who had dreams of building a better life in Australia.
“The loss of our dear’s brother’s life cannot be expressed in words and our entire family as well as the extended family is highly devastated ever since we have heard this news.”
“We feel completely helpless and I am trying to pacify my parents with the fact that he is finally gone and we would never be able to see him again! But if we find justice to his death – may be his soul finds some peace!”
The heart-broken family has also started a social media hashtag #JusticeforPoshikSharma.
"We want people to come forward and support us if they agree with our concerns," said Ms Sharma.
Meanwhile, Poshik Sharma’s parents have reached Australia for his last rites.
Mr Sharma’s brother-in-law Shavinder Teona had earlier told SBS Punjabi, that he belonged to a lower-middle-class family from Gidderbaha in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab, India.
“He was the only son with three elder sisters. He had a lot of family responsibilities. He was providing all the financial support to his aged parents back in India,” he said.
Friends, family, and community members have started to contribute in a GoFundMe account that is set to assist Mr Sharma’s family.
The fundraiser has raised over $4500 within three days of sharing it over the internet (until 5 PM on 20 July).
Thanking the contributors Mr Teona said the proceeds will go directly to the distressed family.
“We thank community members who have come forward to help the family by alleviating some of the enormous financial burdens they are now facing including funeral costs and living expenses,” he said.
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