Indo-Canadian man gets life term for murdering wife

Toronto, June 22 (IANS) An Indo-Canadian man has been sentenced to life in prison by a court in Canada for murdering his wife in 2011.

The supreme court of the Canadian province of British Columbia has sentenced Manmeet Singh to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 16 years for murdering wife Ravinder Kaur Bhangu, 23, in her office July 28, 2011, media reports said Saturday.

Singh had pleaded guilty to the charge that he had walked into the office of the bilingual newspaper, Aaj Di Awaaz, in Surrey, British Columbia, and stabbed Bhangu to death in front of her colleagues.

"Women in Canada, and indeed in any civilised society, are equal persons to be accorded the full protections of the law and have the corresponding rights and privileges, including the complete liberty to make their own choices as human beings in accordance with the freedoms available to all," the Vancouver Desi quoted judge Miriam Maisonville as saying in her ruling.

Bhangu had walked into the office of Aaj Di Awaaz, a Punjabi-English free weekly newspaper, around 11.30 a.m. that fateful day armed with a hatchet and two knives.

He struck Bhangu on her head with the hatchet and then stabbed her at least 30 times with one of the knives.

Holding his dying wife in his arms in his arms, he then called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and confessed to the crime.

He was then arrested from the scene of the crime.

Bhangu and Singh had met in college in India, fallen in love and married in 2008.

Singh, who had earlier moved to Surrey, then sponsored his wife in August 2009.

However, in April 2011, Bhangu left Singh and started staying with a family friend.

She turned down Singh's pleas to stay with him and sought a divorce, which left the latter devastated.

In what is being described as a revenge crime, Singh, while attacking his wife, told her office colleagues that she had been unfaithful to him and that she had cheated on him.

Judge Maisonville rejected the plea of Singh's lawyer that the defendant's case should be considered in context with his upbringing in a "misogynistic culture".

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