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Surrey school principal killed after one week of marriage- Murder Mystery


Surrey, B.C., Canada, July 07, 2007
Lachman Singh

Last week, NRI Narinder (Paul) Cheema married to a prominent Surrey school principal Shemina Hirji, 41, woman and she was murdered by three intruders on Thursday. Mr. Cheema called police about 12.15 pm and the three attackers fled.

Police said Mr. Cheema suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was the only witness, was treated at hospital and released. Police refused to say how the woman was killed or what kind of injuries her husband sustained.

Police is still searching for the attackers. One of the men is described as tall, Caucasian and wearing a brown suit, and another as dark-skinned and wearing a ski mask. Police did not get a description of the third.

Hirji was a member of Burnaby’s Ismaili community. Hirji's death sent shockwaves through the Ismaili community. One school friend said, just one week before, parents Amir and Roshan Hirji were at their daughter's lavish wedding at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, celebrating the new life Shemina was beginning with her husband.

One friend of Hirji, who was one of the couple's estimated 300 guests. said, “They loved each other so much and the parents were very happy.”

Reni Masi, the board vice-chair, said, “Shemina is known as an educator absolutely committed to making a difference in the lives of children, a role model, a strong leader and a key member of the school-district family." She had been principal of AHP Matthew Elementary school at 13367-97 Avenue in Surrey since 2005.

Hirji received her bachelor’s degree in education from Simon Fraser University in 1991 and wrote her master’s thesis on the role of Sikh teachers in the B.C. school system. Ms. Hirji also taught religious classes regularly in the Ismaili community. She also published several scholarly papers, including Teachers of Punjabi Sikh Ancestry: Their Perceptions of Their Roles in the British Columbia Education System, written as part of her master's of education at Simon Fraser University.

“She loved children at the school. She thought of them all as her own children,” Ms. Parasiuk said. Ms. Hirji was especially enthusiastic about married life. She talked about getting married, and how happy she was, and she was looking forward to the wedding. She just wanted to have a life with her new husband.

Outside the Ismaili community's mosque in Burnaby, Arris Meghji, the secretary for the Ismaili Council of BC said, "Ms. Hirji's death "is a big shock. We pray for the family and she is a great person, very gentle and very compassionate."

According to one media report, Cheema's family was not happy and opposed to the wedding.




A prominent Surrey school principal Shemina Hirji, was murdered