British Columbia

Indo-Canadian mother killed in Surrey

The RCMP are investigating the slaying of a 33-year-old Indo-Canadian mother of three, who was found dead in the basement of her Lower Mainland home on Wednesday.

The RCMP are investigating the slaying of a 33-year-old Indo-Canadian mother of three, who was found dead in the basement of her Lower Mainland homeon Wednesday.

Cpl. Dale Carr of theIntegrated Homicide Investigation Team said relatives who lived in the house in Surrey's Newton neighbourhoodfound the body of Amanpreet KaurBahia when they returned from an outingand called police.

Carrsaid it wastoo early to say if it was a targeted attack or a random act, and that police do not have any suspects yet.

He addedthat Bahia was the victim of a brutal, violent attack, but would not disclose any further details.

Investigators said it appears two of the woman's three daughters, who are under the age of 10, were in the houseat the time of the murder.Bahia lived with her children, husband and in-laws.

Carr said the officers are speaking with the members of the family as part of their investigation.

"It's too early to tell what it is. And it's standard operating course of investigative action to interview all family members that would be living in a home where we find a murdered individual. So, it's not out of the ordinary to talk with the family members."

Community leaders shocked, call for action

It's the fourth violent incident against an Indo-Canadian woman in the Lower Mainland in as many months. In October, two young mothers were murdered, and a third woman was shot in the face and remains in hospital.

The latestdeath has renewed calls in Greater Vancouver's South Asian community for more protection for women.

Raminder Dosanjh is with the India Mahila Association, a support group for women in the community.

"We need to wake up. We need to wake up to the reality that in this day and age women are equal human beings and they need to be treated that way.They need the same respect. They need to be treated the way you would like to treat yourself. And violence is not the way to go. There has to be absolutely zero tolerance.

"It's appalling. It's sad. In our house, we just have a new granddaughter, and we're really proud. And I'm hoping by the time she becomes a young woman that we're able to put a stop to this."

Several forums were held late last year to address violence in the South Asian community. Dosanjh said they allowed people to speak out, but much more has to be done to eradicate the problem.

Charan Gill, the CEO of the Progressive Intercultural Services Society agrees with Dosanjh.

"I really feel frustrated. We should get together very quickly. We made people aware, but we have to do some action now."

Gill said anti-violence marketing campaigns, a support network and a transition house are all needed to stop violence in the South Asian community.

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