THE special security cameras that Vancouver Police had installed in the 1400-block of East 54 to keep a check on the main players of one of the two South Asian groups that have been going at one another for the past few years in the South Slope area of Vancouver were this week moved to the 2700-block of East 22 to monitor their rival group.
“We are just letting everyone know that we have this tool, we have the capability of monitoring,” a source told me.
The latest development came in the wake of two clashes outside a southeast Vancouver banquet hall in the past weeks that involved stabbings. In each case members of a rival group were attending someone’s party and were targeted by the opposite group in the parking lot.
For some months before these two incidents things had quietened down a bit.
THE VOICE was the first to report about the simmering conflict a year and a half ago in February 2014 in an article titled “Is South Slope of Vancouver headed back to notorious days of Bindy Johal versus Dosanjh brothers type of rivalry?”
In August 2014, in my story “Vancouver’s South Slope is out of control as two South Asian groups of youths go at each other once again,” I had revealed that Jaskaran Singh Heer, then 19, who had been charged with possession of a restricted weapon, unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle, and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose earlier that month by Vancouver Police was alleged to be one of the key figures in the conflict.
Heer was one of four male occupants of a car that police officers searched at the Esso gas station at Kingsway and Victoria Drive that month and located bear spray and a bag containing a .44 calibre revolver, a box of ammunition and gloves.
The Vancouver Police Gang Crime and Major Crime Units said they had been investigating a number of shootings, assaults, arsons and other acts of vandalism, all believed to be related and linked to the two opposing groups.
Police sources told me at the time that basically it’s a conflict between two groups of South Asian youths, from four different families. There are two main players and each of them has a special friend.
In August 2014, multiple shots were fired at East 22nd and Slocan Street at the house of one of the alleged chief players. Fortunately, no one was injured.
The sources said that this conflict started over the last few years and it just progressed. They added: “This conflict also involves the murder of that kid Akalirai. [January 23 death of Manraj Akalirai, 19, of Vancouver, was brutally slain on January 23, 2013. He had just graduated from Gladstone High School and was attending Langara College.] … They are the same groups that are involved … because that murder happened on the front steps of the house of [one of the chief players in the ongoing conflict].”