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

attack on Parliament Hill

Soldier, gunman who died in Ottawa rampage identified (w/photos, video) [updated]

ANDREW DUFFY OTTAWA CITIZEN Updates at 5:10 p.m. Soldier killed in War Memorial confirmed as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo Suspect, reportedly Canadian-born Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, killed in Centre Block shootout Police call situation…
Continue Reading »

Parliament gunman shot

Shaken Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims calling from scene of Parliament shooting (w/photos, video)

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW OTTAWA — Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims and their New Democrat colleagues were in a party caucus meeting in Ottawa…
Continue Reading »

LIBERTY MEDAL

Stephen Harper cancels Malala Yousafzai citizenship ceremony in light of Ottawa shooting

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO – Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office says two scheduled events today in Toronto with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai have…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Parliament hill

Narendra Modi condemns ‘extremely disturbing’ Ottawa shootout

IANS New Delhi – Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Wednesday’s shootout near the Canadian parliament in Ottawa as “extremely disturbing”. “News of the attack in…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Soldier, gunman who died in Ottawa rampage identified (w/photos, video) [updated]

ANDREW DUFFY OTTAWA CITIZEN Updates at 5:10 p.m. Soldier killed in War Memorial confirmed as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo Suspect, reportedly Canadian-born Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, killed in Centre Block shootout Police call situation…
Continue Reading »

Parliament gunman shot

Shaken Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims calling from scene of Parliament shooting (w/photos, video)

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW OTTAWA — Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims and their New Democrat colleagues were in a party caucus meeting in Ottawa…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-Surrey-Festival-India

Diwali celebrations in Vancouver and Surrey

DiwaliFest celebrates its 11th anniversary from Oct. 17 to 26 at various sites in Surrey and Vancouver. Diwali Celebration Friday, Oct. 24 at Firehall Centre…
Continue Reading »

Facebook photo showing Martin Rouleau

Canada is Losing the Values War

UJJAL DOSANJH SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI The dreaded happened in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a quiet historic town in Quebec. Many years ago I stayed there for a…
Continue Reading »

Butter Chicken

Light up Diwali with this delicious dinner: Butter Chicken, Basmati Rice with Peas, Chickpea Masala and Gulab Jamun

Indian festival is a fine reason for a feast BAL ARNESON POSTMEDIA NEWS Diwali is India’s biggest festival. People light candles and divas (small Indian…
Continue Reading »

INDIA-WILDLIFE-ELEPHANT

Heartbreaking photos of two elephants electrocuted in India

IANS Siliguri – Two elephants, including a female, were electrocuted in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district Saturday, an official said. The tuskers were found in a…
Continue Reading »

Aman Grewal

Gallery: Army officer’s wife wins Mrs. India Worldwide pageant

IANS New Delhi – Aman Grewal, wife of an army officer, was declared the winner of Haut.Monde Mrs.India Worldwide 2014 here. Grewal, who hails from…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Jackie Chan

First India-China joint venture film starring Jackie Chan launched

HINDUSTAN TIMES Chinese action star Jackie Chan will star in the first Sino-India joint film production slated to go on the floors in the coming…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Saif Ali Khan poses with pants down

IANS New Delhi – Actor-producer Saif Ali Khan was caught and clicked with his pants down while shooting for his new film “Happy Ending”. As…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt says ‘Going Home’ a special short film

IANS Mumbai – If the masses loved her in movies like “Highway” and “Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania”, Alia Bhatt has again won many a heart….
Continue Reading »