Punjab man jailed for killing stepsons

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS
Saturday, September 18, 2010

VANCOUVER - A Punjab man, who killed his two teenage stepsons and almost beheaded his wife last year, was locked behind bars here Friday with no parole till he turns 84.

Mahendra Singh, 68, had shot dead his stepsons Ranjit Gill, 15, and Amarjit Gill, 17, and almost beheaded his wife Sukhwinder, 38, on Father’s Day last year after their dispute.

In sentencing him Friday, Justice Lynn Smith of the provincial British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that Singh committed the crime on the spur of the moment for which he will spend at least 17 years in jail before becoming eligible for parole at the age of 84.

A young widow in India, Sukhwinder had married much older Singh during his visit to India in 2005 to get a quick passage to Canada. But their marriage of convenience soured soon, resulting in the tragedy.

It was the third marriage for Singh whose first two wives had divorced him.

On June 21, 2009, Singh first shot dead his elder stepson Amarjit Gill, and then younger stepson Ranjit Gill before turning on his wife, beating her unconscious with the butt of his rifle. After knocking her unconscious, Singh tried to slit her throat.

Shockingly, the man had recorded his crime on tape which was played in the court last week.

In the long tape, Singh is heard making some remarks in Punjabi and walking around the house for some time before shooting dead his sleeping elder stepson Amarjit Gill.

Next, screams and cries for help are heard as the man rushes into the bedroom of his younger stepson Ranjit and shoots him also even as the boy cries out: “Mommy, mommy.”

After killing his two stepsons, Singh is heard turning on his wife, with the butt of his rifle hitting her on the head even as the woman pleads with him to spare her life.

His lawyer Russ Chamberlain was quoted as saying that Singh was devastated by the failure of his two marriages. Sukhwinder, his third wife, too was about to walk out on him with her two sons when he committed the crime.

The lawyer quoted the judge as saying that though the wife may have “used him as a ticket to Canada,” the magnitude of Singh’s crime is unpardonable.

The prosecution had demanded 20 years behind bars for him before being eligible for parole.

In a similar case in June, 48-year-old Kamikar Singh Dhillon of Brampton on the outskirts of Toronto was jailed for life for killing his 22-year-old daughter-in-law Amandeep Kaur last year.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at gurmukh.s@ians.in)

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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