Narinderjit Singh is wheelchair-bound, a polio survivor who is paralysed from the waist down. He is also a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic.
A disabled Indian man is to be deported back to India in April after having lived in New Zealand for more than 20 years. He had his residency application declined because of a crime he committed eight years ago allegedly during a mental health episode.
Forty-five-year-old Narinderjit Singh is wheelchair-bound, a polio survivor who is paralysed from the waist down. He is also a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic.
He has lived in Auckland with his extended and supportive family for 22 years. He arrived with his family on a visitor visa in 2000. In due course they applied for residency, which was accepted.
However, Narinderjit allegedly snapped during a major mental health episode, and drove his car into his neighbour’s vehicle. Thankfully no one was injured. Singh plead guilty to the offence without putting forward any report about his psychiatric condition. However, this conviction has now impacted his residency visa status. In June 2021 he was served deportation papers and his benefit withdrawn. At the end of this month, Narinderjit is being deported back to India.
The problem with Singh is he has no family in India, everyone he has is in New Zealand. He needs their constant support and care. His specialist medical team is also in New Zealand. He would have none of this in India if he were to live there. His family cannot fathom how he would survive and feel the deportation order is more like a death sentence for Narinderjit.
“It is not a death sentence for Narinder, it’s a death sentence for us too,” one of his relatives told Newshub.
A petition to prevent his deportation has begun, garnering much support from Kiwis and the Indian diaspora in general. It is urging Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi to intervene and stop this deportation.
According to the petition, Narinderjit has been repeatedly let down by the system and not provided adequate support for his mental health issues, which led to him making ‘’some not so good decisions and ending up on the wrong side of law.”
“Given his condition and disability, his survival in India is impossible. The government has issued him a death sentence.”
One signee on the petition says, “Despite making poor decisions, mental health seems to be a major factor. In the light of our push to improve mental health outcomes let’s not make things worse and deport him. To err is merely human, like all of us. Extend mercy and care.”
Yet another supporter of the petition has said: “This is cruel, unfair and discriminatory. As a disabled person it breaks my heart to see disabled people being treated like this in NZ. Please let him stay.”