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Husband, 66, Charged In Triple Shooting

source: Husband, 66, charged in triple shooting

Husband, 66, charged in triple shooting

Critically wounded woman, her slain teenage boys had arrived from India last fall

By Kimberly Shearon and Cheryl Chan, The Province - June 23, 2009

The man arrested in connection with a double slaying Sunday in a Surrey townhouse has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Charged is Mahendra Singh Johal, also known as Mahendra Singh, 66.
At 11 a.m., police responded to a 911 call reporting gunshots. Upon arriving at Johal's townhouse at 64th Avenue and 126th Street, they found the bodies of two teenage boys -- brothers Amarjit Gill, 17, and Ranjit Gill, 15, also known as Raman.

The 35-year-old mother of the teenagers, known as Sukwinder, was found suffering from life-threatening injuries and remains in critical but stable condition in hospital.
Johal and the woman were married, according to police.

J. S. Beesla, who lives in the unit next door, said the woman and her two sons moved into Johal's townhouse in September.

Beesla said the family kept mostly to itself, but he noted that Johal and his wife seemed to live very separate lives.

"We never ever saw them out together," he said.

Neighbours had been told conflicting reports about the nature of the relationship between the couple, Beesla said.

Johal referred to the woman, whom he had sponsored to come to Canada, as his wife -- his third -- while she referred to Johal as her uncle, Beesla said.

The boys attended Tamanawis Secondary School, just a block away. Amarjit was in Grade 10; his brother was in Grade 8.

They had been adjusting well to their new life in Canada, said Amarjit's classmate, Niven Bramar.

Arjun Shukla, who knew both boys, said they liked Canada.

Raman was into soccer and basketball, he said, and would regularly play with neighbourhood kids at the park across the townhouse complex.

Arjun had been to their house and remembered meeting the man the boys called "uncle."

"He was nice. He was very quiet," recalled Arjun.

But neighbour Balvinder Plaha, who knew the man as Sukwinder's uncle, said the woman had hinted of trouble at home.

"She did not get into detail, but said that the uncle was 'not good,' " Plaha said. "I was worried for her."

The school is providing counselling for affected students, said Doug Strachan, spokesman for the Surrey school district.

The Indo-Canadian community has been shaken by news of the double homicide, said Radio India personality Gurpreet Singh.

"I was at a party [Sunday] night and it was all people were talking about," Singh said, adding he has received many calls from concerned listeners.


© Copyright (c) The Province

Elimination of spousal violence is the goal

EDITORIAL : Vancouver SunJ - June 25, 2009

While some people avoid venturing out at night for fear they'll be accosted by gangsters, the statistics tell us that the most dangerous places are closer to home -- in fact, one of the most dangerous places is the home.

The tragedy involving Sukhwinder Kaur Johal and her teenage sons Amarjit and Ranjit Gill provide further evidence of this sad fact. The three were attacked in their home on Father's Day, leaving the Gills dead and Johal in hospital in critical but stable condition.

Mahendra Singh Johal, Sukhwinder's husband and the boys' stepfather, has been charged with two counts of murder and one of attempted murder in connection with the incident. And while we must wait for the legal process to take its course before assigning responsibility for the attack, we have already experienced far too many cases of spousal and family violence and murder.

According to Statistics Canada, there were 38,000 incidents of spousal violence reported to police across Canada in 2006, the latest year for which statistics are available. This represents approximately 15 per cent of all police-reported violent incidents, and is probably only a fraction of all spousal violence incidents since many people are reluctant to report such events to police.

The statistics on spousal homicides are equally sobering. Spousal homicides represented 17 per cent of all solved homicides in Canada in 2006, with a total of 56 women and 22 men killed by their spouses that year.

Children and youth also suffer at the hands of family members, with a reported 107 children per 125,000 being physically or sexually assaulted by a parent. Again, the actual figures are likely much higher than the reported numbers. And six out of 10 child and youth homicides are committed by a member of the family, usually a parent.

These are troubling statistics, given that we tend to believe that we are safe at home, and that our family members are our protectors. But it is that very belief, combined with the belief that other people, and particularly the state, has no business meddling in family affairs, that helps sustain family violence.

Indeed, in most cases of family homicide, warning signs were present. This was apparently true in the Johal case, as friends knew that all was not well, and that Sukhwinder and her sons were planning to leave her husband, a situation that often gives rise to violence.

If we are to stem the tide, then, we must take all warning signs seriously, and we must be especially vigilant when families are separating. And fortunately, our awareness of, and education about, these factors has helped to reduce the incidence of family violence.

There has been, for example, a steady decline in spousal violence since at least 1998, when spousal incidents represented 22 per cent of all police-reported violent incidents. And B.C., along with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, now has the lowest rate in Canada, with just eight per cent of all police-reported violent incidents involving spouses.

Spousal homicides have similarly been declining for more than 30 years, with 110 such homicides in 1977, compared to 78 in 2006.

Homicides involving children and youth have also been on the decline.

This is promising news.

But the numbers are still too high, and we must guard against becoming complacent. Instead, we must continue our efforts to educate all people, and to reach out to those experiencing family difficulties.

For when it comes to family violence, the only acceptable number is zero.

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun



1947-2014 (Archived)
Soul_Jyot ji

So many times you have done the seva of bringing crimes against women and children to the forefront of the dialog going on here. Thank you for doing this. The one and only effective preventive measure against spousal violence and child abuse is "breaking the silence." People mean well but too often family, neighbors , communities and friends -- who know something is wrong -- draw a tight circle around a problem and are silent about their suspicions. The victim/s are left feeling hopeless and isolated. They can see few if any avenues for help or escape. And the all hell breaks loose. Mahendra Singh Johal is now lost as well. His crime could have been prevented, he would be a free man retaining his honor, and 3 people would still be alive. That is the tragedy.


Soul_Jyot ji

So many times you have done the seva of bringing crimes against women and children to the forefront of the dialog going on here. Thank you for doing this. The one and only effective preventive measure against spousal violence and child abuse is "breaking the silence." People mean well but too often family, neighbors , communities and friends -- who know something is wrong -- draw a tight circle around a problem and are silent about their suspicions. The victim/s are left feeling hopeless and isolated. They can see few if any avenues for help or escape. And the all hell breaks loose. Mahendra Singh Johal is now lost as well. His crime could have been prevented, he would be a free man retaining his honor, and 3 people would still be alive. That is the tragedy.

Antonia ji

The root cause of many these voilent incidents happening in canada is craze of Punjabi's immigrating to canada.Punjabi's are appllying any method to immigrate.They give big dowries
,they do not conduct proper inquiries when they marry their daughters to canadian sikhs
about their character.Now look at above case sukhwinder is barely 35 while mahender singh Johal is 66.No woman of 35 will marry a man of 66 in arrange marriage ,there is a good chance that she used this man just for immgration for herself and her children.And the man who is 66 ,there is good chance that he is crazy type of person so one day he just went out of mind and started shooting.


At the same time, kds ji , silence is the reason why spousal abuse continues unabated once the immigrants are here. Entire communities circle their wagons and say nothing.

You are right silence is one of the reason but once a woman is in a New country and in New family she can't do much.Also in world there are very few people which are ready to genuinely help you,and also there is always a 2 side of a story so helper always have to think whether he/she is genuinely helping a person or a fake person is taking advantage.
this could be a complicated case as all things with punjabi's.
For some reason people side with women very easy. maybe not in this case but most.

i know a friends friend who recently got married in punjab. His parent well educated people went to punjab to find good wife for him. his parents didn't shop for a girl like most people do.She was the first and the only girl they saw. they did not ask for any daaj or anything very simple and honest people. so the wedding took place. she got her visa and went aboard with him. They were happy and he said they never fought over anything. But than she started insisting that she wants visit her parents in punjab. So about 6 months later they went. Once they reached the airport in delhi her family was there to pick them both up. but her family did not even look at him and she took off alone with them and he was standing there dumb founded wondering what just happened. he ended up taking one of those indo-candian buses to punjab. And 3 days later the cops show up at his house. They take him to jail without telling him anything. After sitting in the jail for a week he found out that his wife had filled a case aganist him and his mom for asking daaj and abuse . The case went on for about six months because he thought that he could get the truth from her but she did not open her mouth because she was being pressured by her family. He had 2 options to sit in jail or settlement out of court. So his family ended up paying 15 laks ruppes to the girls family to drop the case.

their are many unheard cases like this.

i see to many people saying that that punjabi nri's take adavantage of punjabi brides. This is not the case all the time.

what i have learened is that most people in punjab are not dumb they are a very cunning people. but this could be said for punjabi nri's also. Everthing deserves a second look in the punjabi communtiy.
Domestic violence is 'cancer' for Indo-Canadian community

Ajit Jain in Toronto

The murder of two Indo-Canadian women from the Lower Mainland (British Columbia) in the past two weeks -- allegedly by their husbands -- has sparked a debate in the community.

Navreet Waraich, mother of a four-month-old boy, was reportedly stabbed to death on October 29 in Surrey. According to a Globe and Mail report, 'her husband Jatinder was arrested and charged with second-degree murder'.

Gurjeet Kaur Ghuman, a nurse from Coquitlam, was reportedly shot in the head on October 20, while riding in a car with her estranged husband Paramjit. After allegedly shooting Ghuman, Paramjit shot himself. Reports say Gurjeet is in a serious condition in hospital.

British Columbia Attorney General Wally Oppal, an Indo-Canadian and formerly judge of the British Columbia appeal court, has reacted to the murders of Waraich and Paramjit, saying spousal abuse has become like a 'cancer' among the Indo-Canadian community.

'Spousal violence is an issue of the community at large', he was quoted as having said. 'But it's more acute in the South Asian community'.

Liberal Member of Parliament Ujjal Dosanjh told rediff.com, "I have been living in British Columbia since 1968 and I thought we have kind of come out of the dark ages on violence against women. Obviously I have been proved wrong."

There have been quite a few cases of spousal abuse among Indo-Canadians 'and the community sadly has been in denial about the problem', Dosanjh, former premier of British Columbia, said.

Violence against women is prevalent in other cultures also, Dosanjh noted. "Perhaps it is more prevalent in our culture than it might be in other sections of the society -- and we have to admit that. As long as we are in denial we won't do anything to repair it -- just as we have been in denial over the gang violence and we woke up only when over 70 young people died of bullets in the last six-seven years.

"All of us have to do our part," he continued. "Activists have to do more work. There have to be more services with the community to make people aware what their rights are. There should be a community pact�-- social pact, cultural pact -- that nobody would tolerate violence against women any more. And that anyone who finds out there's violence against any woman, will speak out and talk to the police or talk to other people who can help."

"There has to be that kind of collective understanding in the community," he added.
Nina Grewal, Conservative member of Parliament from Surrey, too said she was aware of the problem.

"It breaks my heart to hear these terrible stories in Surrey," she said. "As a woman, my heart is very close to this issue. And my thoughts, condolences and prayers go out to the families of the slain women."

She has dealt with the issue as a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Status of Women.

Grewal agreed with Dosanjh that 'there should be no tolerance to violence' and that 'we need an integrated approach from the whole community' to help prevent and deal with this problem.

"We must encourage women who are in this very difficult situation to come forward with their stories and break the cycle of violence and abuse," she added.

"We know violence against women exists and it has been one of our major concerns for three decades," said Raminder Dosanjh, who was among the founder members of the India Mahila Association in 1973. "It is very troubling to see this is happening again. It has once again sparked the debate in our community," she added.

But why does the problem exist? "Ours is a macho culture," responded Ujjal Dosanjh. "Firstly, we celebrate males and females are undervalued. Secondly,� because you don't want to wreck families, you tolerate a level of violence around you. That has to be stop. Thirdly, when police do find that crime has been committed, they should act immediately."

"Violence has to be confronted," he continued. "If you don't confront it one day it may kill you."

Grewal said, "Unfortunately, nothing significant has been done [in the community] to deal with [domestic] violence, gangs and drugs -- which already claimed the lives of about 100 Indo-Canadian youth in the Lower Mainland in the last decade. Family violence [too] has been continuing without serious attention."

The underlying factor of violence against women, Ramidner Dosanjh said, is the 'imbalance of power between men and women'.

"Of course, this domestic violence and spousal abuse takes different shapes in different parts of the world," she said. "In feudal societies you can find reasons for it. In major urban areas you find different reasons for it, but the underlying factor is power imbalance -- where one group can exercise control and subject the other group to this kind of treatment."


1947-2014 (Archived)
Soul_Jyot ji

There are few examples in the media that hit this kind of problem head on without putting a gloss on things to make them seem less serious tha they are. The article that you posted appeared on another forum and the reaction was as follows: Why are Indo-Canadians being single out by this politician?

In one way the point is well-taken. Domestic violence leading to death in many cases crosses all nationalities, ethnic groups, and income levels. And the silence of families and communities, in these various groups and in all parts of the world, is one of the biggest impediments to nipping problems in the bud before they escalate.

But the article was aimed at serving the Indian Canadian group. Social problems can be solved, but only one step at a time. The worldwide problem of violence against women cannot be solved all at once. It has to be tackled one group at a time. Violence against women resembles and addiction, when a community just can't stop it. Everyone who is touched by the problem has to first make an admission - much as members of 12 step programs for alcohol and substance addictions make-- That there is a problem - That the problem is out of control -- and That all their previous efforts to solve it have failed. So the article is important. It is a wake up call.

Every group will need to work on the solution in its own way -- meaning that there has to be engagement and commitment to a solution. There is no merit in saying "the woman had it coming to her because she did this or that." "She tricked me." "She didn't keep her side of the bargain." etc. "Her family will lose face in India, or Ethiopia, or wherever." Murder is Murder and this murder could have been prevented. So do we need to keep secrets? This is about Canada trying to solve a problem in Canada. Canada has to solve things it Canada's own way and the Attorney General Wally Oppal has taken an important step.

Domestic violence is about one thing - Entitlement. The idea that one has been so injured in some way - emotionally, financially, socially - and therefore the ends (CONTROL, VIOLENCE even MURDER) are completely justified and excusable because one has a strong sense of entitlement. If the abusers are not awake, then those around them have to take that important step along with AG Opaal.

Thanks for persisting in the thread.