Williams Lake Indo-Canadian Councillor’s Home Set On Fire

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Williams Lake city councillorSurinderpal Rathor, whosits on the Williams Lakecity council, was chargedlast year in connection withhis work as a police translatorin late 2012. Police saidat the time that Rathor washelping police investigatorsin a criminal case on Dec.24, 2012, though theMounties haven’t discloseddetails of the case. Thepolice release said thecharges relate to allegationsthat a translator interferedwith an investigation.

WILLIAMA LAKE – WilliamsLake city councillor SurinderpalRathor’s home was the target oftwo arson attacks early Saturday,mere hours after his only daughterdied suddenly Friday night,reported Williams Lake Tribune.In fact, if Rathor and his wifeCharanjit hadn’t been in the livingroom, awake due to theirfamily emergency, the secondattack could have proven fatalbecause a Molotov cocktailpierced the living room window,igniting curtains, carpet, ceilingand furniture.“I grabbed the burning chairsand took them outside rightaway,” Rathor said Mondayfrom his Moon Avenue home.“I was worried because the electricalpanel was so close to theflames. Being an electrician Iknew if an electrical fire startedthe only thing that could save uswould be God.”The first Molotov cocktail wasthrown at the home around 2a.m.When RCMP arrived, Rathorhad already extinguished a burningrag on the walkway outsidethe window.RCMP members investigatedthe incident and afterwardsRathor and Charanjit went backinside to await the arrival offamily from out of town.The second, more serious attackoccurred at 3:30 a.m., and ignitedthe inside of the homeimmediately.Police said they thought it was adeliberate attack.“Fortunately, on both occasions,the fire was quickly containedand resulted in only minor damage;although the potential forloss of life and home was significant,”the RCMP noted in apress release.“Witnesses observed someonerunning west on Moon Avenuefrom the scene, getting into adark SUV which then travellednorth on Midnight Drive,”police said.Rathor said he is leaving thematter in the hands of police ashe and his family prepare fortheir daughter’s funeral.“Under Insp. Warren Brown’sleadership I’m very confidentthat our detachment will get tothe bottom of this, there’s noquestion in my mind,” Rathorsaid Tuesday.The incident has left Rathorwondering, however, what hecould have possibly done toincite such a violent act.“In the 39 years I’ve lived hereI’ve tried to be good to everyone,”Rathor said.“I would like to meet with thisperson to ask them what have Idone wrong to hurt them somuch, so that I don’t repeat it toothers.”Rathor added the outpouring ofsupport he and his family havereceived from the communityhas been overwhelming.“I can’t thank the communityenough,” he said.Rathor, who sits on the WilliamsLake city council, was chargedlast year in connection with hiswork as a police translator in late2012.Police news release said at thetime that Rathor was helpingpolice investigators in a criminalcase on Dec. 24, 2012, thoughthe Mounties haven’t discloseddetails of the case.The release says the chargesrelate to allegations that a translatorinterfered with an investigation.Rathor was arrested and laterreleased, and made a scheduledcourt appearance on Oct. 2 inWilliams Lake.A biography on the City ofWilliams Lake website saysRathor has lived in the area for39 years and is currently thelongest-serving member oncouncil. It also lists him as along-time employee of TolkoForest Products.Courtesy Williams Lake Tribune

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