Buttar, known as one of the most notorious of Indo-Canadian gangsters who boasted that he "killed for a living", was sentenced on Thursday for an assault on a stranger.
The provincial Supreme Court sentenced Buttar (he is only known by that name) to 15 months for attacking another Indo-Canadian, who was unknown to him, with a beer glass three years ago at a pub in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey. Surrey is home to the largest concentration of the Punjabi community in Canada.
The sentence, though very light, assumes significance as more than 100 Indo-Canadian young men have been killed in gang warfare during the past 15 years in the Vancouver area. Buttar, who was sentenced Thursday, claims that he "got rid of" of top Indo-Canadian crime leader Bindy Johal in Vancouver in 1998. However, he was never found guilty of the killing.
In the current assault case, the court heard how Buttar attacked Pradeep Dhillon after coming to know that he was a cousin of Bindy Johal, the crime leader Buttar claims he killed 11 years ago. Dhillon told the court that Buttar attacked him with a beer bottle after learning he was a cousin of Bindy Johal.
After sentencing Buttar for 15 months, the court said he can serve the sentence at home under strict conditions. He cannot go to pubs, liquor stores and drink during the entire sentence and the two-year probation period following it.
Many Indo-Canadian gangs have sprung up over the years in the Vancouver area because of easy availability of marijuana. Drug gangs smuggle marijuana into the US and bring back cocaine. The lure of easy money has led to bloody turf wars between the gangs. The 100-odd killings of Indo-Canadian youths over the years are the result of these gang wars.
But Canadian criminal laws are so lax that it is impossible to lock any criminal behind bars, leave alone hang him.