Bharti Art JewellerVancouver Police sources tell me that last week’s Bharti Art Jewellers on Main Street and East 50th Avenue in broad daylight was the work of an organized group – not just some guys who just got together and decided to crash into the store in a truck. Sources said that this group has been active before. So let’s see what happens next. The group’s members wore ski masks and blue jumpsuits and made off with a bag of valuables, according to witnesses in Vancouver’s Punjabi Market. At least one of the robbers had a gun. Two of them went into the store while a third stayed in the truck. They ditched the truck in a nearby alley and took off in another vehicle. Some jewellery lay scattered on the street. The owner was reportedly alone in the store and was not injured, as I reported last week. (Photo courtesy CBC)



A month ago in my Rattan’s Rumble, I wrote about the dilemma that federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau faces with rival South Asian contenders in Surrey-Newton and Vancouver South ridings. And about Vancouver South, I wrote: “That’s the controversial riding where then-Liberal federal minister Herb Dhaliwal was forced to quit by that petty-minded then-Liberal leader Paul Martin who encouraged his poodles led by Shinder Purewal to take over the riding executive because Dhaliwal had been a loyal Jean Chretien supporter. Martin, after having used Purewal to do his dirty work, dumped him and parachuted NDP-turned-Liberal Ujjal Dosanjh into the riding.

“Dosanjh narrowly lost to Conservative Wai Young in the last election and with Trudeau’s popularity, the Liberals hope to win back the riding.

“The Liberals have two fresh faces: well-known Vancouver entrepreneur Barj S. Dhahan and Lt.-Col. Harjit Singh Sajjan, the first Sikh in Canada to take command of a British Columbia regiment.

“According to my sources, Trudeau actually favours Sajjan who received a prominent role at the Liberal convention in Montreal two weeks ago when he introduced the star speaker Lt.-General (retired) Andrew Leslie.
“But as Trudeau has declared that there will be open nominations, all he can do is give hints or put pressure on Dhahan through others.

“But I am told Dhahan is not one to back down and enjoys the support of the Khalsa Diwan Society’s Ross Street Gurdwara executive.”

This week, Vancouver Sun’s Peter O’Neil wrote about it in an article titled “Battle lines form in Vancouver South for Liberal nomination” with the sub-heading “Trudeau expected to push ‘star’ candidate Harjit Singh Sajjan against another Liberal hopeful, Barjinder Singh Dhahan.”



Last week I informed Translink about a complaint by a South Asian transit user that they were often not opening the Scott Road SkyTrain Station on time on the weekends, causing passengers to miss the first SkyTrain. As I reported last week, the first SkyTrain leaves King George station at 5:08 a.m. Monday to Friday, but on Saturday the first one starts an hour later at 6:08 a.m. and on Sunday it departs two hours later at 7:08 a.m. And on top of that, thanks to Translink employees’ tardiness, passengers were getting even more delayed!

Well, Translink did a very good investigative job and sent me this report: “This is a follow-up to our conversation on April 2, 2014 regarding the opening of the grilles at Scott Road station on Saturday mornings.

“We examined our records on three consecutive Saturdays starting with March 15 and we can confirm that the Scott Road station grille opened a 6:00 am as scheduled on March 15 and 22. There was one exception, in which the grille at Scott Road opened later and this was on March 29. On this day, the grilled opened 27 seconds after the first westbound train departed the station.

“We apologize for the inconvenience this caused our customers and we will be reviewing this incident with our staff in order to improve our service.”

I had told Translink that I wasn’t sure if the passenger’s complaint was correct, but it would be good if they’d check it out and let me know.

At least now, the employees will be on the ball – hopefully.



The Surrey Six Trial has been bringing out a raft of interesting, even weird facts that have amused and even stunned people. This week, Red Scorpion gang founder Michael Le, who had earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in a deal to testify against gang members Cody Haevischer and Matt Johnston told the B.C. Supreme Court that they used to conduct a ceremony for new members: they would make a cut on their hands and mix their blood and then burn incense to the God of Guan – the god of gangsters!

Haevischer and Johnston, are charged with six counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Another co-accused, Jamie Bacon, who will be tried separately, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Corey Lal and, along with Haevischer and Johnston, conspiracy to commit murder in Lal’s death.

The Crown says that Red Scorpions gang members went to apartment 1505 of the Balmoral Towers at 9830 East Whalley Ring Road in Surrey on October 19, 2007, to kill a rival drug dealer Corey Lal because he had failed to pay $100,000 they had demanded from him for trafficking on their turf, and they killed five others to ensure that there would be no witnesses.

Innocent victims Chris Mohan, 22, and Edward J. Schellenberg, 55, of Abbotsford and four other victims who police said led criminal lifestyles – brothers Corey Lal, 21, and Michael Lal, 26, and Edward Narong, 22, and Ryan Bartolomeo, 19 – were killed execution-style.

Le said this week that when he began dial-a-dope lines at the age of 18, just one of them got him $125,000 and $150,000 a month. He used to buy cocaine from the Triads. Now you can understand why so many kids prefer to take a risk selling drugs rather than studying for a degree that may not even get them a job! Yet joining a gang means leading a screwed-up life where even friends are ready to kill you and you have to take strong pain killers to deal with your constant fear and tension, as gang members have testified.
Not worth it at all!



The decision on whether Jaswinder “Jassi” Sidhu’s mother Malkit Kaur Sidhu, and her uncle, Surjit Singh Badesha of Maple Ridge will be extradited to India in the brutal 2000 murder of Jassi, 25, in Punjab, India, is now expected on May 9. Earlier this year, in closing arguments at the B.C. Supreme Court, Crown lawyer Deborah Strachan had said that the evidence from the record of the case is that the two threatened Jassi’s new husband, Sukhwinder (Mithu) Sidhu, a poor rickshaw driver in India, on multiple occasions, telling him he would be killed because Jassi had married him against their wishes. Jaswinder was killed but Mithu survived when they were attacked in June 2000. The lawyers for the accused argued that there isn’t enough evidence against them.



Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism), on behalf of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, will be announcing a new policy to allow the wearing of kirpans in Canadian missions abroad.

He will make the announcement on Monday at the Khalsa Community School, 69 Maitland Street, Brampton, Ontario.