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Mewa Singh Bains 82, & Shingara Singh Thandi 76, in Surrey
who died after a beating in a Surrey park.

  • On July 18, Mewa Singh Bains was attacked in the washroom at Bear Creek Park. He died Sept. 3 at the age of 82.
  • On July 19, Shingara Singh Thandi was attacked in the same park, allegedly by the same two boys suspected in the beating of Bains. He died Aug. 6, at age 74.
  • Two young boys aged 13 and 15 attacked Mewa Singh Bains, 84, and Shingara Thandi, 76.

Updated 2005

NRI Crowd demands murder charges for beatings
of two NRI elderly men, now dead

Vancouver, September 22, 2005
Salim Jiwa
The Province

More than 80 NRI, (Non-resident Indians) packed a Surrey courtroom and more stood outside yesterday, demanding justice in the deaths of two elderly men.

Two boys aged 13 and 15 are charged with assault and aggravated assault in the baseball-bat beatings of Mewa Singh Bains, 84, and Shingara Thandi, 76.

The crowd demanded that the charges be upgraded to murder.

The two men were severely beaten in the washroom at Bear Creek Park in separate attacks.

Bains was attacked and robbed on July 18. Thandi, beaten the next day, died in hospital on Aug. 6. Bains died on Sept. 3 after suffering a massive stroke following surgery.

Jaswinder Thandi spoke of his anguish when he saw his father's battered body at Royal Columbian Hospital, where he had been rushed for surgery.

The beating had obliterated his face.

"I could not recognize my dad," said Thandi. "I had to look at the rest of his body to tell that was my dad."

Thandi said the family was worried when he did not return home from a stroll in the park on July 19.

After making panicky phone calls, they learned he was at the hospital. He died 18 days later.

Dalvinder Bains, 36, said his father had a black eye and a bump on the back of his head after the attack. He said his father was examined at hospital and then discharged.

A few days later, he was taken back to hospital with a headache, and it was discovered he had suffered internal bleeding.

Bains was taking a blood thinner and it had to be stopped so that surgery could be done. He suffered a stroke on Sept. 2 and died the next day.

Prosecutor Michelle Wray said outside court that Crown and police are contemplating additional charges.

Authorities would have to directly link the beating to Bains' death before murder charges could be laid.

Laying murder charges in the Thandi case appears to be more straightforward.

The crowd expressed outrage that the younger of the two accused has been granted bail and that the charges have not been upgraded to murder.

"Everyone should be outraged. We will keep coming back here," said community activist Sukhi Sandhu.

He said supporters of the two families want to see 24-hour security in heavily used Bear Creek Park and cameras near the washroom.

"This is a hate crime," he charged. "How come they picked on two elderly Sikhs?"

Sandhu said community members will turn out in force on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Bear Creek Park for a candlelight vigil.

The next court appearance for the two teenagers was set yesterday for Sept. 28 in Surrey Provincial Court.

© The Vancouver Province 2005

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