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Loved ones of slain Edmonton teen Karanveer Sahota huddled together in an embrace around his casket to say goodbye one last time on Sunday afternoon.

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Tears streamed down the faces of about two dozen family members and friends loudly weeping and wailing as they watched the sixteen-year-old boy’s body rolled away for cremation at the Edmonton Crematorium and Funeral Home on Roper Road. Sahota, 17, died on April 15 after being fatally stabbed a week earlier near a bus stop outside McNally High School. Seven youth are charged with second-degree murder in his death from him.

This weekend, hundreds of people gathered for Sahota’s memorial service in a strong show of support from the city’s Sikh community. Before the service began, a steady stream of visitors walked in a quiet, solemn procession to pay respects and lay red flower petals in the teen’s casket.

Rajwant Singh Bachhal, Sahota’s uncle, said his nephew had gone to a better place. Speaking to the youth present, he asked them to consider how they will learn from this untimely death, urging them to pursue beauty, love, healing and courage, rather than anger, vengeance and despair.

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“It could have been anyone lying in that casket. Was this the dream of your parents and grandparents who left behind their lands?” I have told attendees. “This land adopted us. What shall we get back for the toil and sacrifice of our elders?

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“Your choices, young people, are going to decide the fate of families — humanity. Don’t let Karanveer’s passing go to waste.”

‘A gentle soul’

Sahota was remembered as a charismatic boy and a kind soul. Friends and family members told attendees of his passion for music, sports and cooking, and said he was amazing at whatever he set his mind to do.

“A gentle soul from the beginning, it was clear that Karanveer’s interests were in taking care of others. Our Karanveer’s life was cut short, but the impression he left on everyone’s lives will never be forgotten,” said a memorial card given to guests.

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Sahota’s cousin Monica Binns thanked visitors for their strong show of support: “You all being here today is giving our family the strength we need.”

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, who was called on to speak, said Sahota’s death was a “senseless act” and a tragedy that no one could have imagined here.

“It’s very difficult to describe these acts of violence in a way that will comfort the family,” he said during the service. “His memory of him will live on through you, through his family and friends of him. That’s how we will cherish his short life here… Your loss is really a loss for this city.

Two of Sahota’s cousins ​​have called on the families of the teen suspects to take responsibility for the boy’s death, and have said they should be tried as adults instead of youth.

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Seven youth suspects — six boys and one girl — have been charged with second-degree murder. Two of the youngest suspects are fourteen.

to public candlelight vigil will be held on Friday at 8 pm — one hour earlier than initially planned — in the field at McNally High School.

[email protected]

@laurby

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