South Asian gang wars in Canada claim another life

The gang wars between South Asian groups in Canada have taken another life -- this time of a teenager.

india Updated: Mar 11, 2006 16:12 IST

The gang wars between South Asian groups in Canada have taken another life with three men being convicted for the murder of a teenager.

Two of the young men were sentenced to life in jail and the third was given a shorter term for the fatal beating of 19-year-old Raheel Malik was at a mall in June 2003.

A jury convicted the three - Amandeep Banwait, 23, Harjit Matharu, 21, and Amar Sandhu, 23 - for the homicide of Malli, a student of electrical engineering.

The judge said that the conduct of the defendants and other perpetrators was brutal and cowardly.

Before sentencing the three, Justice Brian Trafford said 19-year-old Raheel Malik was "unarmed, vulnerable and defenceless" when he was attacked.

The murder was the culmination of spiralling tension between two South Asian groups, a Supreme Court judge told the court.

Banwait had an ongoing dispute with Malik, and lured him to the mall on the night the murder took place for what the victim thought would be a one-on-one fist fight, according to court papers.

But when Malik drove into the parking lot, the group followed a signal from Banwait and co-accused Matharu and surrounded the victim. Banwait smashed Malik in the face with a hammer, the judge told the court.

Banwait was convicted of first-degree murder and received a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Matharu, who assisted Banwait by swinging a metal pipe at Malik and kicking, intimidating and confining him, was convicted of second-degree murder and imprisoned for life with no chance of parole for 10 years.

Sandhu was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for manslaughter.

First Published: Mar 11, 2006 16:09 IST