British Columbia

Husband charged in Surrey newspaper stabbing

A man accused of stabbing his estranged wife to death in a brutal attack at a Surrey, B.C., newspaper office made his first court appearance on Friday.
A Surrey, B.C., man was in court Friday, charged with first-degree murder in death of his wife, the CBC's Renee Filippone reports 1:56

A man accused of stabbing his estranged wife to death in a brutal attack at a Surrey, B.C., newspaper office made his first court appearance on Friday.

Manmeet Singh, 26, appeared in provincial court in Surrey to face one count of first-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault and one count of assault with a weapon. The assault charges pertain to an attack on a witness who stepped in to try to stop the stabbing.

Ravinder Bhangu, 24, was stabbed to death Thursday in the offices of the Sach Di Awaaz Indo-Canadian weekly newspaper, where she worked as an administrative assistant.

Police said Bhangu died from multiple stab wounds in the brutal attack, but have not confirmed media reports alleging Singh was armed with an axe and a cleaver.

Friends say Bhangu and Singh met in India and married for love, not through an arrangement, but split up several months ago.

Mickey Gill, the publisher of the newspaper where Bhangu worked, said his staff are still in shock — but the team worked through their grief to pay tribute to Bhangu on the paper's front page.

"I mean, essentially the majority of the paper was done. It was just a matter of the front cover and we wanted to commemorate in a way where it wasn't sensationalized and still respectful," Gill said.

Baljinder Gill, who runs the studio where Bhangu danced with a team, said the young woman loved to dance, and had become like family with the other girls.

"I'm shocked," she said. "I don't know  what I'm going to tell these girls. These girls are insane since yesterday. They came here yesterday evening — they were crying, you know, asking questions."

Friends say Bhangu left India several years ago, and had virtually no family in Canada.