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Baby killer Indo-Canadian father sent for psychiatric check-up

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS

Toronto : An Indo-Canadian father, who killed his baby daughter in the Vancouver suburb of Delta, has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric check-up by a city court.

Lakhvinder Singh Kahlon, 47, had reportedly stabbed his two-and-half-year-old daughter Rajvinder Friday because he didn’t like having a third daughter.

The toddler was killed when her mother, Manjit, had gone to drop her two elder sisters to school.

The Surrey Provincial Court will now decide whether Kahlon is fit to stand trial when he appears before it again Feb 15. He faces first-degree murder charge.

The clean-shaven Sikh looked deeply depressed when he appeared in court Monday.

The proceedings were over within minutes as the judge ordered that Kahlon should undergo psychiatric assessment.

On the sidelines, the defence lawyer said he would demand leniency for his client because of his mental state at the time of the crime.

Meanwhile, the devastated family issued a statement Monday, asking the media to refrain from all speculations about the tragedy.

The statement said: “Her (the girl’s) mother is extremely and understandably distraught at what has taken place with her family. Her little girl was vibrant and precious. Please respect that we are grieving.”

The ghastly crime has shaken the South Asian community, with many calling for the death penalty for the killer father.

Radio talk shows were flooded with calls from outraged people, blaming the feudal Punjabi culture – that prefers sons to daughters – for the tragedy.

Balwant Sanghera, a retired school psychologist and community leader, said he would propose stopping celebrations of boys’ birth at religious places as a mark of respect for the murdered girl.

Amy Ghuman, who started Trinjan Kuri-Munde Di Lohri to celebrate the birth of girls as well four years ago, told IANS that young South Asian girls will hold a candlelight vigil next week for Rajvinder.

“Earlier our men were killing their wives. Now they have started killing their daughters. Shame on the community that tolerates these monsters. If our mothers could not stop them, we young girls will,” said Ghuman .

Blasting community leaders, she said: “They are in deep slumber. They will say this man killed his daughter because he was under depression. No one is doing anything to make a difference. We will empower young girls to take matters in their own hands.”

Former Canadian health minister Ujjal Dosanjh said: “I wonder how long South Asian women and girls will have to suffer at the hands of men. It is time for a drastic change.”