Local prayers for shooting victim
By PETER CATON and AAP
MEMBERS of the Hare Krishna community in Murwillumbah were yesterday stunned by the horrific rape and shooting in India of fellow follower, 17-year-old Lila Salter, by a man who had stalked her for years.
Devotees, some who had been holding a special Festival of Devotion at the Murwillumbah Showground, prayed for Lila, formally named Anandalila, as she lay in an Indian hospital with a bullet in her head.
Lila, who was born in Murwillumbah but has spent much of her life living with family in India, had reportedly known her attacker, Saurav Singh, for some years. Singh was yesterday described as having ‘psychological problems’.
Lila’s Gold Coast mother, Susan Manning, who with other members of the family run a Hare Krishna Govinda’s restaurant and a clothing import business, yesterday appealed for all Australians ‘regardless of their religious beliefs’ to pray for Lila.
Ms Manning regularly attends the International Society for Krishna Consciousness Hare Krishna Temple at Eungella, near Murwillumbah.
Lila was reported to have been shot three times by Singh, who hours earlier had raped her at gunpoint.
Her mother told Indian police Singh had arrived at the flat Lila shared with her older brothers in the small holy town of Vrindavan and begged to be allowed to see her to apologise for the previous night’s incident.
Instead he shot her three times before fatally turning the gun on himself.
A Krishna devotee, Lila remained on life support yesterday as her family, including her mother and four of her siblings, maintained a vigil at her hospital bedside.
Her mother said doctors had warned her she was likely to be brain dead, so severe were her gunshot wounds.
“Only a miracle will give us a different verdict now,” she said.