Batalia Family Will Honour Other Murdered Indo-Canadian Women On Daughter’s Slaying Anniversary

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Murdered pregnant mother Manjit Panghali and Vancouver teen Poonam Randhawa to be honoured alongside Maple Batalia on September 28.

SURREY – The family of murdered Indo-Canadian teen Maple Batalia will honour other murdered Indo-Canadian women on the first anniversary of their daughter’s murder.

The 19-year-old Maple Batalia was gunned down on September 28th but the family will use that date this year to remember Indo-Canadian women murdered in their prime, which include murdered pregnant mother Manjit Panghali and Vancouver teen Poonam Randhawa.

The  19-year-old Batalia was a health sciences student at SFU when she was killed in Surrey.

In a week and a half, the Batalia family try to transform that tragic day into a rallying point to end violence against women, reported News 1130.

That’s why Maple’s sister Rosaline has reached out to the families of Panghali and Randhawa and gotten their blessings to honour them alongside Maple at a candlelight vigil in Holland Park.

“It’s a new take on Maple’s candlelight vigil and we’re making it about other women as well,” she tells us.

“As we’ve always said, Maple wasn’t the only person who has died from something this tragic. It’s been happening in the community, so there needs to be a lot of measures taken to make sure youth and other generations are aware that there needs to be something done about this issue.”

Poonam Randhawa was just two days past her eighteenth birthday when she was last seen alive, at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary in 1999.

Randhawa was only 18 years old when she was shot dead and her body was found dumped in an alley in Vancouver in 1999.

Her ex-boyfriend, Ninderjit Singh, spent 12 years on the run from the law in the United States before he was arrested and charged with her murder. He entered a guilty plea in the case and was sentenced earlier this year to life in prison with no chance of parole for 16 years.

Manjit Panghali‘s burned body was found dumped off Deltaport Way in 2006. She was pregnant at the time. Her ex-husband, Mukhtiar Panghali, was found guilty of second degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years.

Rosaline Batalia says it’s important to tell their stories alongside Maple’s.

“Maple left such a great impression and that sense that we all have a sense of social duty to the community around us,” she says. “I just feel like the power of love is what has gotten our family to do these things that we’re able to do. Otherwise, we’re just average people, too. Her death is just a reminder that anyone can do what they want to do.”

Gurjinder “Gary” Dhaliwal, who used to date Maple, has been charged with her murder. He is due in court Monday.

In addition to raising awareness, Rosaline Batalia hopes the vigil will help to raise a little money, as well.

Her family has set up a bursary in Maple’s memory to help young women take health science courses at SFU. They have raised $76,000 so far and the goal is to eclipse $100,000.

“Maple was pursuing health sciences at SFU, and because she wasn’t able to reach her goal of performing a dermatologist, we wanted to ensure that we’re helping other women in need,” says Rosaline.

“Last year, we released the bursary to two women and we’ll try to add on a third person if that’s possible.”

The vigil will be held on Saturday, September 28th at 6 p.m. at Holland Park in Surrey.

Donations to the bursary fund can be made here. Under the tab “Please designate my donation to,” select “Maple Batalia Memorial Fund.”

Courtesy News 1130

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