Surrey man who hacked wife to death sentenced to life in prison

Published: June 21, 2013

Submitted photo of Manmeet Singh and wife Ravinder Bhangu.

JENNIFER SALTMAN
VANCOUVER DESI

A B.C. Supreme Court judge who sentenced a man convicted brutally murdering his wife to life in prison with no parole for 16 years called violence against women “abhorrent” and said it should be denounced in the strongest terms possible.

“Women in Canada, and indeed in any civilized society, are equal persons to be afforded the full protections of the law and have the corresponding rights and privileges, including the complete liberty to make their own choices as human beings in accordance with the freedoms available to all,” Justice Miriam Maisonville said in her decision Friday.

Manmeet Singh, 28, pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of 23-year-old Ravinder Kaur Bhangu.

At around 11:30 a.m. on July 28, 2011, Singh walked into the Surrey office of Sach Di Awaaz newspaper, where Bhangu worked as an administrative assistant, armed with a hatchet and two knives.

Singh went up to Bhangu and struck her at least twice in head with the hatchet, cracking her skull.

Bhangu raised her arms to defend herself and two of her coworkers tried to help her. Narinder Nayar was hit in the back of his shoulder with the hatchet.

Singh then dropped the hatchet, pulled out one of the knives and stabbed Bhangu more than 30 times.

During the attack Singh told the those in the office that Bhangu was his wife, she was unfaithful to him and she cheated on him.

As he stood next to his dying wife, clutching a bloody knife, Singh asked a bystander to call 911. Singh told the operator, in Punjabi, that he had killed his wife. Surrey RCMP arrested Singh at the office.

Maisonville agreed with the Crown’s submission that the crime was “extraordinarily brutal.”

“It arose from the personal belief of the accused that he was entitled to take revenge,” Maisonville said.

Singh expressed remorse for his actions in a brief statement to the court.

“I have committed a grave mistake,” he said through a Punjabi interpreter. “I don’t have the right to take anybody’s life, so please forgive me.”

Singh and Bhangu met and fell in love in college in India and married in 2008. Singh, who had previously moved to Surrey with his family, sponsored his wife in August 2009.

In April 2011, Bhangu left Singh and moved in with a family friend. Singh tried to convince her to stay, but she asked for a divorce. He was devastated.

Singh’s lawyer argued that the murder was not an honour killing, but the act of a depressed man. He asked the judge to consider Singh’s crime in the context of his upbringing in a “misogynistic culture.”

“I reject that submission,” Maisonville said.

Outside court, Bhangu’s friend and fellow dance teacher Baljinder Gill emphasized that it’s not consistent with the Indian culture to treat women as if they are second-class citizens.

“It’s only weak minds who treat women in that kind of way,” she said. “I can’t blame it on the whole community.”

She and others described Bhangu as beautiful, talented, kind, caring, honest and always smiling.

Ravinder Bhangu’s friend Baljinder Gill (left) speaks outside New
Westminster court. PNG photo

“Each day I wake up she is in front of my eyes. It is not easy,” said Gill.

Sukhjinder Sandhu, the family friend with whom Bhangu lived when she separated from Singh, said the length of Singh’s period of parole ineligibility won’t make a difference for Bhangu’s family.

“I can’t describe their pain,” he said. “I don’t have the words to explain. No matter what, she’s not coming back.”

jensaltman@theprovince.com
twitter.com/jensaltman

Tags: ,




Featured

Sikh Samaritan

Sikh Samaritan breaks religious protocol, removes turban to help injured child (with video)

IANS Wellington – A young Sikh Samaritan did not hesitate to break religious protocol by removing his turban to help an injured child bleeding profusely…
Continue Reading »

diversity-cuture-desi

Cyclists roll into Surrey schools with message of respect and diversity

BEAU SIMPSON SURREY NOW NEWTON — Hundreds of Surrey students left school Thursday with a simple request at the top of their minds – make…
Continue Reading »

NRI-DESI-DEPORTATION

‘Stateless’ man argues deportation to India before Court of Appeal

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Deepan Budlakoti, born and raised in Canada, has no citizenship anywhere. But that doesn’t make him “stateless,” a lawyer for Citizenship…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

diversity-cuture-desi

Cyclists roll into Surrey schools with message of respect and diversity

BEAU SIMPSON SURREY NOW NEWTON — Hundreds of Surrey students left school Thursday with a simple request at the top of their minds – make…
Continue Reading »

NRI-DESI-DEPORTATION

‘Stateless’ man argues deportation to India before Court of Appeal

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Deepan Budlakoti, born and raised in Canada, has no citizenship anywhere. But that doesn’t make him “stateless,” a lawyer for Citizenship…
Continue Reading »

Abbotsford police

Parolee puts the ‘ram’ in Abbotsford car dealership rampage

IAN AUSTIN VANCOUVER DESI A suspect who went on a demolition-derby-style rampage at an Abbotsford car dealership faces a raft of charges. Abbotsford Police Const….
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver Ross Street Sikh Temple

Media-savvy Narendra Modi’s one year in photos as India’s prime minister

VANCOUVER DESI Check out photos of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he completes one year in office. Modi is one of India’s most social…
Continue Reading »

Surrey Shooting

‘This is really close to home’: Two cars exchange gunfire in Surrey neighbourhood

CHERYL CHAN VANCOUVER DESI Another bout of gunfire rocked a Surrey neighbourhood Sunday evening. Newton resident Doug Elford tweeted about hearing gunfire outside his home…
Continue Reading »

masturbation

Masturbation causes pregnant hands in afterlife, says Turkish preacher

HINDUSTAN TIMES An Islamic televangelist from Turkey has created a storm on social media by claiming that any man who masturbates will find his hands…
Continue Reading »

sexual harssment

Migrant women fear speaking out about sexual harassment in Florida’s farms

EMILIO J. LOPEZ IANS/EFE Miami – Women working on Florida’s farms, most of them undocumented immigrants, are constantly exposed to sexual harassment, workers’ rights activists…
Continue Reading »

The Canadian Flag flies over the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill on Feb. 15, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Ottawa unveils new immigrant investor program

VANCOUVER DESI Ottawa is now accepting applications for its new immigrant investor program, which aims to provide up to 60 “high-net worth immigrants” a path…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood-China

Chinese star Wang Baoqiang dubs for Bollywood actor Aamir Khan in PK

HINDUSTAN TIMES When Aamir Khan speaks in Mandarin in the Chinese version of his Bollywood blockbuster PK, it is the popular Chinese actor and comedian…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood actor Ashish Juneja to enter ‘Itna Karo Na Mujhe Pyar’

IANS Mumbai – Actor Ashish Juneja has been roped in to play the role of Kartik in popular soap opera “Itna Karo Na Mujhe Pyar”….
Continue Reading »

Bollywood badshah tweets first look of Salman Khan's Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Bollywood badshah Shah Rukh Khan shares first look of Salman Khan’s ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’

IANS Mumbai – Superstar Shah Rukh Khan has come forward to show ‘brotherhood’ with actor Salman Khan by releasing the first look of the “Dabangg”…
Continue Reading »