iN PHOTOS: Candlelight vigil held to remember TRU student who drowned - InfoNews

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iN PHOTOS: Candlelight vigil held to remember TRU student who drowned

Prayers were read at the candlelight vigil for Rahul Asnani who drowned in the North Thompson River last week. Several close friends, classmates and colleagues gathered at Thompson Rivers University on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, to pay tribute to the 23-year-old international student.
May 08, 2019 - 2:00 PM

KAMLOOPS — A 23-year-old international student from India is being remembered as an "adventurous" man who cared deeply for his friends and family.

Rahul Asnani's body was recovered on May 4 by Kamloops RCMP after his friends reported him missing when he was swept away in the North Thompson River on May 3. Friends and faculty of Thompson Rivers University gathered last night, May 7, to pay tribute to Asnani who was a student in the School of Business and Economics.

The candlelight vigil took place in front of the Campus Activity Centre where dozens of people gathered, many dressed in white in respect to Asnani's Hindu faith. Navin Jain, 27, who is an accounting student at TRU, says he was shocked when he found out Asnani had drowned.

"It's a big loss for his family," Jain says. "He was a good person. We are all praying for his family and relatives to give them strength during this loss, we are supporting them."

One of Asnani's roommates, Musbashir Rahman, also spoke at the candlelight vigil.

"Rahul was one of my closest friends," he said.

The Dean of the School of Business and Economics, Mike Henry, also spoke to share his condolences and also asked for a moment of silence.

"Although he is no longer with us now, he is in our heads, hearts and all of our thoughts," Henry said.

An initial press release from RCMP stated three friends were swimming in the North Thompson River near Chestnut Avenue when one of the men was swept away. His friends attempted to pull him back to shore but were unsuccessful. A day later, police recovered the student's body but then said he was out by the river taking pictures with friends when he stepped a bit too far and fell from a steep embankment. 

Raj Soni, a friend of Asnani, says he is still trying to find out what happened as well. He was invited by Asnani to go out early one morning to celebrate his birthday. Soni said he declined to go since he had to move the next day and wouldn't be able to make it. After moving to Quesnel, he found out Asnani had drowned.

"There is a huge misunderstanding between people," he says. "Some people are saying he was taking pictures and others are saying he was swimming, it's very confusing."

Soni says he met Asnani a year ago when they first moved to Canada.

"He was one of my first friends here in Canada," he says. "He was a very lively person, loved to be around a lot of people."

RCMP and TRU staff have been in touch with Asnani's family in India.

Dozens of people gathered to pay tribute and mourn the death of Rahul Asnani on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Many people quietly wept as stories were shared of Asnani's
Dozens of people gathered to pay tribute and mourn the death of Rahul Asnani on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Many people quietly wept as stories were shared of Asnani's "adventurous" character."

People were given the opportunity to place lit candles next to photos of Rahul Asnani.
People were given the opportunity to place lit candles next to photos of Rahul Asnani.

Dozens of people gathered outside the Campus Activity Centre on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, to remember Rahul Asnani, 23, an international student from India who drowned in the North Thompson River. Police recovered his body from the river on May 4, 2019.
Dozens of people gathered outside the Campus Activity Centre on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, to remember Rahul Asnani, 23, an international student from India who drowned in the North Thompson River. Police recovered his body from the river on May 4, 2019.

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