Calgary stabbing deaths of 2 women lead to 2nd-degree murder charges

Hari Pal, the estranged husband of Sanjula Devi, who was stabbed to death in Calgary earlier this month, has been charged in her killing and that of her friend.

Accused's estranged wife, Sanjula Devi and her friend Fahmida Velji-Visram stabbed to death

Sanjula Devi, left, and Fahmida Velji-Visram were stabbed to death when the pair went to the home of Devi's estranged husband to pick up some of her belongings, police said. (Facebook)

Hari Pal, the estranged husband of Sanjula Devi, who was stabbed to death in Calgary earlier this month, has been charged in her killing and that of her friend.

Pal, 52, faces two charges of second-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault in connection with the deaths of his 36-year-old wife and her 29-year-old friend Fahmida Velji-Visram, as well as the assault of a third woman who was taken to hospital and has been released.

Police said they were called around 6:30 p.m. MT on May 4 after reports of a stabbing at a home in the 6400 block of Penbrooke Drive S.E.

When police arrived, they found a woman dead in the doorway of the home.

Another woman had run out of the home screaming and covered in blood. Despite neighbours' attempts to help her, she was pronounced dead in hospital.

A third woman, believed to be the daughter of the landlord who lives in the upper level of the house, was taken to hospital in non-life-threatening condition and then released.

Police had been called to the home April 9 because of an argument, but no charges were laid.

Velji-Visram had reportedly gone with her friend to the home on the night of the stabbings to collect her belongings.

Accused 'timid' and 'polite,' says neighbour

According to neighbours, Devi and Pal were friendly people.

"She [Devi] was quiet, she was timid, very polite, [her daughter] was always very polite, the man himself was polite," said Samantha Racette, who lives next door to the complex where they lived.

"I find it surprising given the gentleman himself was very timid."

Rahim Visram, stabbing victim Fahmida Velji-Visram's husband, calls her death a nightmare. (Courtesy Rahim Visram)

Velji-Visram had been married for almost two years when she died and would have celebrated her wedding anniversary in June.

Her husband said she was a great person who was always there to help her friends and family.

"There's no way that you can describe it," said Rahim Visram, the victim's husband. "This is the worst nightmare I've ever had and the alarm hasn't gone off yet."

Autopsy results determined both Devi and Vilji-Visram died as a result of stabbing.

Pal fled the scene and was located a short time later and arrested.

He was transported to hospital with self-inflicted injuries and has been in police custody since the time of his arrest.

Pal is scheduled to make his next court appearance May 20.