Indo-Canadian youth shot dead in gang warfare

February 4th, 2008 - 12:24 pm ICT by admin  

By Gurmukh Singh
Vancouver, Feb 4 (IANS) Yet another Indo-Canadian youth was been killed here this weekend in the ongoing gang warfare in the community. This is the second murder of its kind within a week.

Pritpal Singh Virk, a 19-year-old from Richmond, was shot and left to die by a rival gang Saturday night near the Mainstreet Punjabi Market here.

A passer-by reportedly saw Virk lying on the road at about midnight and informed the police. Ambulance crews first tried to resuscitate him and then rushed him to a hospital.

It is not known whether he died on the spot or in hospital.

PRITPAL VIRK The police said the victim was at a friend’s party where they were drinking and smoking marijuana late into the night.

Virk reportedly didn’t feel well and left early to be allegedly shot by a rival gang.

We don’t believe this is random. We believe it is targeted because of the style of the attack. We will be looking into whether this latest shooting is related to other recent shootings in the Lower Mainland (which is predominantly Indo-Canadian),” a Vancouver police spokesman said.

According to the police, Virk had connections with the drug underworld.

He was arrested on drug charges last May when the police chased an SUV carrying him and his friend Daljit Sandhu when they were on their way to plant marijuana in a remote area.

Asked to stop by the police, they had sped away on a side road and ended up in a river. While Sandhu drowned, Virk survived and was charged with drug offences. He was out on a $2,000 bail.

Virk’s father had died some time ago, and his mother was unable to mentor him properly. The misguided boy got into gangs,” Balwant Sanghera, a community leader who advises the police on gang violence, told IANS.

This is the second murder of an Indo-Canadian youth within a week. On Jan 28, another youth was shot dead at his girlfriend’s apartment in Surrey by her former lover. Both the victim and the killer had underworld connections, the police said.

Over 100 young Indo-Canadian men have died in drug-related gang violence in this metropolis in western Canada since the mid-1990s.

The provincial government of British Columbia has created a special gang task force and roped in Punjabi-speaking officers to tackle the problem.

But most of the killings remain unsolved. (IANS)

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