Radio India executive pleads not guilty to charges in connection with shooting at 2010 Surrey wedding

Published: July 16, 2014
Sikh wedding shooting trial

Radio India’s Maninder Gill (R) walks out of the court in New Westminster where he is being tried for aggravated assault and firing a weapon. Photo: Larissa Cahute, Vancouver Desi

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Animosity had been brewing between a prominent Surrey broadcaster and a local community member in the months leading up to an August 2010 shooting at a Sikh wedding, a B.C. Supreme Court judge was told Wednesday.

In his first day on trial, Maninder Gill, managing director of Radio India, sat quietly in the prisoner’s box in a New Westminster courtroom and spoke only to plead not guilty to a number of gun offences.

The charges include possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, aggravated assault, two counts of discharging a firearm with intent to wound or disfigure, two counts of pointing a firearm and unlawfully discharging a firearm at the Aug. 28 wedding at Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh gurdwara.

Evidence was that Gill was one of about 1,000 people at the temple on 120 Street and 70 Avenue when gunshots rang out between noon and 1 p.m.

The first witness to take the stand Wednesday was developer Harjit Singh Atwal, who was wounded in the upper left leg.

Atwal said he’s known Gill since 1985, but they were not on speaking terms at the wedding because he had filed a civil suit against Gill the previous May for allegedly defaming his family on the radio.

“He said so much against my family on the radio,” Atwal told the Crown. “After (that) I never talk to him.”

However, he acknowledged that they had “exchanged phone calls,” and in cross examination, defence lawyer Richard Peck grilled Atwal on the “bad feelings” between the pair.

“They were saying a lot of bad stuff against my family,” said Atwal. “Yes, I have bad feeling.”

The cross-examination revealed that a heated argument broke out between groups at a restaurant in April, followed by another at the 2010 Vaisakhi parade.

During the morning proceedings, Atwal recalled the day he was shot.

He said that midway through the ceremony, he left the temple to get some water from his truck. Some time later, as crowds began to exit, he recalled seeing Gill motioning towards him and shouting something in Punjabi, before reaching towards his belt and pulling out a gun.

“When he fired first shot I started moving fast,” Atwal told the Crown. “Everything was chaos … everybody was running.”

Once he realized he was shot, he said, he “went blank for a little while,” and when he came to, Gill was pointing the gun at him, until a friend came to his aid.

Atwal was taken to hospital, where he gave police a statement and spent five days recovering.

He said there’s not much residual damage, but he still experiences some pain when sitting on hard surfaces.

The trial is expected to run until July 25 and hear from a number of witnesses, including Gill himself.

lcahute@theprovince.com

twitter.com/larissacahute

Related Stories:


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

varsha

Ontario teen fighting superbugs with an assist from Indian home cooking

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Like a lot of great discoveries, Varsha Jayasankar’s foray into how to kill superbugs with an extract from Indian food started…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Low caste teen in India burnt alive after goats stray into neighbours’ field

CEN AGENCY A poor goat herder was burnt to death after greedy land owners doused him in petrol and set him ablaze because his goats…
Continue Reading »

Police are investigated a suspected murder in Surrey, B.C.

Police investigating suspected homicide in Surrey

SURREY NOW Police say an autopsy will be required to determine how Surrey’s 14th homicide of 2014 died. The body of the victim, a man…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

B.C.’s LNG emissions’ law greenest, cleanest in the world: environment minister

By Dirk Meissner THE CANADIAN PRESS VICTORIA – New legislation introduced in British Columbia requires liquefied-natural-gas plants to meet emission standards or face penalties and…
Continue Reading »

N.B.’s new premier to oilpatch: support for Energy East has not wavered

By Lauren Krugel THE CANADIAN PRESS CALGARY – New Brunswick’s new premier said Monday he’s looking to assure Alberta’s oilpatch that even though the government…
Continue Reading »

B.C.’s LNG emissions’ law greenest, cleanest in the world: environment minister

By Dirk Meissner THE CANADIAN PRESS VICTORIA – New legislation introduced in British Columbia requires liquefied-natural-gas plants to meet emission standards or face penalties and…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-BC-surrey

Most South Asians and Chinese in B.C. have faced discrimination based on ethnicity

A quarter reported experiencing moderate or significant amounts of discrimination DOUGLAS TODD VANCOUVER DESI  Stereotyping. Verbal harassment. Poor customer service. Workplace unfairness. Exclusion from dating….
Continue Reading »

MINOR ATACKED

False confession leads police to arrest new suspect in sexual assault of 9-year-old Surrey girl

FRANK LUBA VANCOUVER DESI A man who confessed to the sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl in Surrey has been released and a 28-year-old man…
Continue Reading »

Dilwali Fest

Diwali Fest kicks off with IndiGlam fashion-fusion show (w/ video)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI It was a classic mother-daughter argument that propelled Surrey’s Raji Khaira into a career of fashion design. Khaira, 25, grew up…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver Desi

Canada Place caught the eye of man who builds models in chalk (w/gallery)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Jagdeep Singh Bihal moved to Vancouver from India two years ago and did some sightseeing around the city,  it was…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-VANCOUVER-MUMBAI

Diwali organizer inspired by memories of Mumbai revelry

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver’s Rohit Chokhani can still recall his childhood in Mumbai when Indian streets would light up with fireworks and life would…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Desi boobs Sonakshi SInha

Sonakshi Sinha enjoyed Tamil film debut with Lingaa

IANS Chennai  – Actress Sonakshi Sinha, who is making her Tamil debut opposite superstar Rajinikanth in upcoming Tamil actioner Lingaa, says she thoroughly enjoyed working…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Irrfan Khan to head Abu Dhabi film fest jury

IANS New Delhi  – Acclaimed actor Irrfan Khan will preside over the Narrative Feature Competition Jury at the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF). The…
Continue Reading »

Rekha

Rekha’s TV presence has left tremendous impact: Indra Kumar

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS Mumbai  – Veteran actress Rekha, who has kept her distance from the small screen, has duly followed the current tradition of…
Continue Reading »