The man charged with slaying Ravinder Kaur Bhangu appeared in court Friday to set a date for trial.
Manmeet Singh, 26, was in Surrey Provincial Court donning a white prison jumpsuit, speaking to the judge through a court-appointed translator. The young Indo-Canadian man with a full goatee beard appeared unmoved during his brief appearance, listening carefully to his translator.
Singh is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon related to the slaying of his wife, 24-year-old Ravinder Bhangu, at about 11 a.m. July 28 at Sach Di Awaaz Newspaper (punjabi for Voice of Truth) office at 128 Street and 82 Avenue.
The count of first-degree murder involves the incident with Bhangu, explained Crown Counsel John Labossiere.
“The count of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon are (involving) the gentleman who came in to assist.”
Witness accounts say Singh entered the newspaper office armed with at least one knife, and attacked his wife. The second employee tried to help her and was also stabbed multiple times. He was subsequently treated for his injuries in hospital and released.
Singh was arrested at the scene and has been in custody since. Initially, Singh refused to cooperate with police, even refusing to give them his name.
Police say the couple had been been married since 2009 and unconfirmed accounts report that Bhangu left her husband in April. Friends at a traditional dance school where Ravinder was a volunteer told CTV News that she had moved to Canada from India about two years ago.
The newspaper office was shut down on Friday and still remains a crime scene, guarded by two Mounties.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) says there is no indication at this time that the attack had anything to do with the business where Ravinder worked.
IHIT continues to canvas the area in search of more evidence.
If you have information regarding this matter, you are asked to contact the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-IHIT(4448). Or, if you wish to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Singh is scheduled for another court appearance Aug. 5.