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4th murder suspect makes court appearance in Surrey temple leader shooting

The 4 suspects will next appear in Surrey provincial court on May 21
Demonstrators outside the first court appearance of Amandeep Singh in Surrey on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. Singh has been charged in connection with the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June 2023 (Photo: Anna Burns)

The fourth man charged in the shooting death of Surrey gurdwara president Hardeep Singh Nijjar had to make his first “appearance” in Surrey provincial court on May 15 by telephone from Ontario, where he is being held.

“Because of technical incompatibility between our court and courts in Ontario Mr. Singh is not able to appear by video,” Judge Mark Jette noted.

“Specifically I’m told that the Ontario court system uses a different messaging system than we do and they’re not able to communicate with each other.”

While B.C. uses Microsoft Teams, Ontario uses Zoom.

Amandeep Singh, 22, is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the June 18, 2023 killing of Nijjar, 45.

When he was arrested by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) on May 11 he was already in custody at the time for unrelated firearm charges out of Peel Regional Police in Ontario.

Singh is an Indian national who has lived in Brampton, Surrey and Abbotsford.

Nijjar was shot to death in the parking lot of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Newton. He was found in his truck suffering from gunshot wounds.

Singh was ordered to not have contact with three members of Nijjar’s family and four other people. Jette also made a mandatory detention order under Section 515 (11) of the Criminal Code, with the help of a Punjabi interpreter.

Three other suspects from Edmonton had already been arrested and charged in the killing. Karan Brar, 22, Kamalpreet Singh, 22, and Karanpreet Singh, 28, are also charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

The four are to make their next court appearance on May 21, with Amandeep Singh again by phone and the other three by video from penal institutions within B.C.

On May 7 demonstrators gathered outside of Surrey provincial court while Karan Brar, Karanpreet Singh and Kamalpreet Singh made their first court appearance virtually by video.

Community members outside came with flags and signs, with some reciting religious chants quietly under their breaths as they hoped to learn more about how the Crown’s case will unfold.

May 15 saw a second round of this.

Bhupinder Singh Hothi, general secretary of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, said outside the courthouse that it’s the group’s intention to attend every court appearance.

“We are all ready to attend all the hearings that will be held in this case,” he said.

“Because it is our leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar that got murdered and you know the cause he got murdered for, for raising his voice for the own Khalistan,” Hothi said. “So he was our leader of that moment so that’s why we all agree that we should be here at all appearances.

“You cannot erase the voice of Khalistan, there is no fear, such fear,” he added.

-With files from Anna Burns and Sobia Moman

About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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