Family of murdered Maple Batalia remembers sad day like it was yesterday

Published: September 28, 2012

Maple Batalia’s sister, Roseleen, right, with her father Harry and mother Sarbjit, are still waiting for justice. Mark Van Manen/PNG

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

It has been a year since Maple Batalia was shot to death, but for her family, it’s as if the nightmare was only yesterday.

“It just feels like it hasn’t really been a year,” her sister, Roseleen Batalia, said from her family’s Surrey home.

“We just feel the way we did the day it happened.

“Time just keeps kind of passing by, but the emotions and feelings are just as strong.”

Maple, the third child of Harry and Sar-bjit Batalia, loved acting, modelling and drawing. She was a student at Simon Fraser University.

When the 19-year-old left SFU’s Surrey campus after a late night of studying for midterms on Sept. 28, 2011, she was shot to death in a parkade metres from the school’s entrance.

“To have someone just taken away like that – just ripped away from you – it angers you and makes you feel alone,” said Roseleen, fighting back tears.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is still working on the case, but the team has yet to make any arrests or narrow down a suspect.

“We’re suffering every day, not knowing. For that person to be out there and be free and my sister will never come back – it’s just not right,” said Roseleen.

“We’re just praying that justice is served and we’re not waiting years and years … to see them behind bars.”

For Harry Batalia, it has made for a “very difficult” year. He has trouble sleeping, finding himself awake most nights missing his “remark-able” daughter.

“Her memories will be with us for-ever … we’ll always love our angel,” he said, tears welling up in his eyes.

“We might ease up a little after get-ting the justice, but we will never see her again.”

The Batalias continue to reach out to their community, searching for anyone who may have been there that night, or even near the parkade.

The family has set up two scholarship memorial funds – one for studying the arts and another for health sciences – to help young girls like Maple.

“Things like that make us feel like our life … has some sort of purpose,” said Roseleen. Because in reality, there’s no way for the family to “normalize” their lives.

“I know Maple is never [coming] back,” her mother Sarbjit said quietly.

It is a reality they must face each and every day.

“There’s no real way of making it easier,” said Roseleen. “Until you have closure … you can’t start healing.”

The upset is still felt throughout the community, as well.

“They’re worried about their kids,” said Roseleen. “It just draws that, ‘Oh my God, this could happen to any-one.’ Just a young innocent person that was doing good things in their community to be taken away.

“It’s just disgusting to think that someone did that to an unarmed person … she was just walking to her car.”

To mark one year since Maple’s death, the Batalias will be at the SFU Surrey campus Friday for the release of Thy Beauty’s Doom, a documentary about Maple and her artwork, followed by a candlelight vigil in Holland Park at 7 p.m.

Roseleen said the vigil is intended “to remind everyone that we’re still peacefully waiting for justice,” and to ensure that Maple is “remembered and honoured in the way that she definitely deserves to be.”

“Don’t forget her,” Sarbjit whispered.






Featured

five hole main

Donated equipment from Vancouver on its way to hockey-mad northern India

KENT SPENCER VANCOUVER DESI The neat thing about a Canadian effort to donate hockey equipment to the Himalayas is that there is a lot of…
Continue Reading »

DEVGAN

Hindi superstar Ajay Devgan to shoot parts of Bollywood blockbuster in Alberta

ERIC VOLMERS CALGARY HERALD A highly anticipated Bollywood film will be using the snowy mountains of Alberta as a backdrop for a three-month shoot. Shivay, scheduled to begin shooting…
Continue Reading »

gandhi beer

Connecticut brewery says it will rename Gandhi-Bot beer after complaints from Indian-Americans

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut brewery will no longer use the name and likeness of Mohandas Gandhi on one of its beers…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

NHL announces that World Cup of Hockey will return next year in Toronto

By Stephen Whyno THE CANADIAN PRESS COLUMBUS, Ohio — The World Cup of Hockey is back with a new format as the NHL seeks to…
Continue Reading »

NHL announces that World Cup of Hockey will return next year in Toronto

By Stephen Whyno THE CANADIAN PRESS COLUMBUS, Ohio — The World Cup of Hockey is back with a new format as the NHL seeks to…
Continue Reading »

CBSA officers seize 17 kg of suspected heroin at Toronto s Pearson Airport

THE CANADIAN PRESS MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Canadian border officials say 17 kilograms of suspected heroin was seized at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport after a flight…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

shiamak

Bollywood dance guru Shiamak Davar gets Canadian dignitaries grooving with a dance lesson

VANCOUVER DESI A number of Canadian dignitaries got their very own personal dance lesson from the guru of Bollywood dance himself, Shiamak Davar, while attending…
Continue Reading »

FILE PHOTO: A nine-year-old Palestinian girl  suffering from scoliosis sits as her mother shows her back x-ray as she is treated by U.S. pediatric orthopedic surgeon Hugh Watts (L) February 18, 2004 at Al-Quds hospital, in Gaza City. Abid Katib/Getty Images

Seven-year-old Scoliosis patient in Western India cured by revolutionary surgery

IANS Mumbai  – A seven-year-old girl in Mumbai suffering from Scoliosis is the first in Western India to successfully undergo a new and revolutionary procedure…
Continue Reading »

Rashida Samji

Former Vancouver notary public fined $33 million for fraud related to multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme

JAMES KELLER THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — A former notary in Vancouver who allegedly spent almost a decade collecting at least $100 million from investors…
Continue Reading »

South Asian senior woman gets PR

After years of lobbying, 84-year-old South Asian woman secure in Canada

JEFF BELL TIMES COLONIST VANCOUVER ISLAND — Surjit Bhandal, the 84-year-old Saanich woman whose family successfully fought for her to be able to stay in Canada, has…
Continue Reading »

desi dance

Theatre school project still resonates 11 years later for Port Moody’s Anita Majumdar

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Port Moody’s Anita Majumdar had no idea her final theatre school project more than 10 years ago would end up defining…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Indian Bollywood film actress Jacqueline Fernandez poses during the launch of Scholl's latest innovation in foot care in Mumbai on January 22, 2015. AFP PHOTOSTR/AFP/Getty Images

Do you want to travel to Dubai with Jacqueline Fernandez?

DIBYOJYOTI BAKSI HINDUSTAN TIMES Several actors nowadays are known to take an active interest in the promotion strategies of their films. Another actor, who has…
Continue Reading »

DEVGAN

Hindi superstar Ajay Devgan to shoot parts of Bollywood blockbuster in Alberta

ERIC VOLMERS CALGARY HERALD A highly anticipated Bollywood film will be using the snowy mountains of Alberta as a backdrop for a three-month shoot. Shivay, scheduled to begin shooting…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar is pictured here in a still from his latest espionage thriller, Baby. The movie has been banned in Pakistan. HANDOUT.

Akshay Kumar’s latest film Baby banned in Pakistan

HINDUSTAN TIMES Akshay Kumar’s espionage thriller Baby, which centres around an Indian spy’s mission to capture a terrorist from a West Asian nation, has been…
Continue Reading »