Indian broadcaster in Canada targeted in shooting spree


Vancouver: A prominent Indo-Canadian radio owner in Surrey near here was targeted in a drive-by shooting Monday night.

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Maninder Gill, 47, who owns the popular Radio India, told police that he and his family were sleeping when he heard 10 shots being fired into the living room of his house just after midnight Monday.

“I heard machine gun shots, multiple shots on my house, and … there is a big hole. It is not one gun. Maybe they used a couple of guns,” he was quoted as saying by news channels.

Police confirmed that it was a case of targeted shooting.

Gill himself faces criminal charges for shooting and seriously injuring city builder Harjit Atwal in August in the parking lot of a city gurdwara. He was released on $200,000 bail just two weeks ago and is scheduled back in court Sep 30.

Gill said his life is in danger as his adversaries are sending him life-threatening messages through third parties.

“They are sending messages like ‘Remember Tara Singh Hayer’ and ‘Ask Maninder to book the funeral hall’,” Gill was quoted as saying in the media.

Hayer, a known Indo-Canadian journalist and founder of the Indo-Canadian Times, was killed in November 1998 reportedly by Khalistani militants because he knew about the bombers of Air India Kanishka and was going to testify in the Air India case.

“I want police to protect me from these people. I have been receiving threats every day since March,” Gill was quoted as saying.

A city of more than 400,000 on the outskirts of Vancouver, Surrey is dominated by the Punjabi community who account for more than 25 percent of its population. It is also one of the fastest growing cities in Canada.