RCMP, friend of Maple Batalia taking part in panel to address violence in relationships

You can register for the free violence in relationships webinar until 9 p.m.

Maple Batalia.

A webinar on violence in relationships will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on April 20.

A panel will be made up of Sgt. H. Matthew of the RCMP (provincial domestic violence coordinator); Coquitlam RCMP victim services; and Benisha Aujla, friend of Maple Batalia, who was 19 when she was shot to death a decade ago.

Gurjinder Dhaliwal was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility of parole for 21 years in 2016 for her death. Sarbjit Batalia, Maple’s mom, said in her victim impact statement to the court that she wished someone had killed her instead.

“It would have been so much better than this,” she said.

About a month before her death, Batalia had ended a four-year relationship with Dhaliwal after learning that he had been unfaithful to her. Dhaliwal became fixated on Batalia and called and texted her thousands of times in the following weeks, and would show up unexpectedly when she was out and would become involved in altercations with her male friends.

Following one of the incidents, Dhaliwal bought a knife and handgun he planned to use to confront one of Batalia’s male friends. On the evening of Sept. 26, 2011, Dhaliwal and his friend, Gursimar Bedi, went to Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus, where Maple studied science, in a car Bedi had rented.

Dhaliwal asked Bedi to go in and see if Batalia was there with her male friend. Bedi reported by cellphone that Batalia was there, but her friend wasn’t. Dhaliwal left without incident.

The next evening Dhaliwal and Bedi went to the school again, and Bedi reported that Batalia and her male friend were there. Dhaliwal waited to confront Batalia’s friend.

After Batalia and her friend were finished studying around 1 a.m., they went to the parking lot, where they hugged and parted ways. Dhaliwal saw the hug and became enraged.

He fired five shots at Batalia, three of which hit her in the torso and arm. Dhaliwal then slashed the top and back of Batalia’s head with a knife as she lay on the ground.

He got into the rental car and drove away.

Batalia was taken to Royal Columbian Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.

You can register here for the free webinar until 9 p.m.

— With files from Jennifer Saltman

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