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Toronto Tibetans mourn for a woman set afire in a city bus attack

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(TibetanReview.net, Jul08’22) – For Tibetans in Canada’s city of Toronto, the occasion to mark the 87th Birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Jul 6 was also one to hold a moment of silence for a woman who died weeks after she was set on fire in a city-run transit bus on Jun 17. Toronto police have confirmed that the woman died in hospital on Jul 5.

Tibetan Community members observed a moment of silence at an event celebrating the birthday of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, reported the cbc.ca Jul 7. The event was held in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood on the grounds of Parkdale Collegiate Institute.

Kalsang Phuntsok, president of the Tibetan Association of Ontario, has said Tibetans were saying special prayers for the woman and her family.

Community members have expressed shock and sadness at the gruesome manner in which the woman was attacked.

A man on the bus, described by mailonline Jul 7 as a half-dressed stranger, later identified as 33-year-old Tenzin Norbu, poured a liquid substance on the woman, who was a caregiver on way to her workplace, and ignited it. She suffered second- and third-degree burns. Reports cited police as saying they suspected the attack was motivated by hate and was random, that the victim and the assailant were not known to each other.

The suspect was charged with attempted murder, assault with a weapon, common nuisance endangering lives and safety of the public, and mischief over $5,000 interfering with property.

The suspect made his first, virtual court appearance on Jul 4 and remains in custody, to be back in court on Jul 18, the report said. The charge is likely to be upgraded to murder following the victim’s death.

Toronto Mayor John Tory has said: “We are all praying for the woman who was attacked at Kipling Station. This is a shocking crime that should not happen anywhere in our city.”

One report said the woman had arrived in Canada in the last few years from south India but no personal details about her, including her name, have been released due to legal restrictions.

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