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NRI Reena Virk beaten to death after being swarmed by a group of BC youths



Hollywood film on murdered Indian-origin girl

Vancouver, April 21, 2010  

Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon will produce a film on the murder of Indo-Canadian girl Reena Virk who was beaten and then drowned in Victoria city near here in 1997.

The murder of Reena Virk by white teenagers had made international headlines 13 years ago, leading to calls for stricter juvenile justice laws in Canada.

Witherspoon's company Type A Films and two Canadian production companies, Brightlight Pictures and Rhombus Media, will jointly produce the film to be called "Under the Bridge".

"We are committed to bringing `Under the Bridge' to the big screen and making a film that does this story justice," Type A Films said in a statement here Tuesday.

In what remains Canada's most famous teen murder case, the Indian-origin girl was beaten unconscious and then drowned by eight white teenagers in November 1997.

Many Indo-Canadians saw racism in the attack as seven white girls and a boy, aged 14 to 16, had repeatedly bashed and then drowned Virk in a gorge on the outskirts of Victoria - which is the capital of British Columbia province.

Her body was found floating in the water a week later.

Of the eight accused, the six (all girls) were given minor sentences and released.

The only boy, Warren Glowatski, was sentenced for life in 1999, but has been released on day parole since.

Kelly Ellard, the last accused, was put behind bars for life last year.

The Virk family came to Canada from Ambala city in Haryana in 1979.

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NRI Reena died at the age of 14 was brutally beaten to death after being swarmed by a group of youths under the Craigflower Bridge in Victoria.on Nov. 14, 1997

  • Reena Virk's body was found eight days later floating face down in the water.
  • Ellard boasted of putting her foot on Virk's head while the victim lay in the water and smoking a cigarette until Virk no longer moved.
  • Six teenage girls were convicted of assault causing bodily harm.
  • Warren Glowatski was convicted in 1999 of second-degree murder.


Kelly Ellard was granted a fourth trial in the murder of Reena Virk

  • A B.C. Supreme Court jury convicted Ellard of second-degree murder in 2000.

Suman Virk, Reena's mother blame government social workers who they say scooped up their daughter and put her in foster care based on nothing more than Reena's adolescent tales of abuse.