Skinheads Charged in Canada Death
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ Five young men linked to a skinhead, white-supremacist group were charged with second-degree murder Wednesday in the beating death of a 65-year-old Sikh man at the temple where he worked as caretaker.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the killing occurred the same night in January that the racist group, White Power, held an all-night party for its supporters in the Vancouver region. The party took place near the temple.
The five suspects, ranging in age from 17 to 25, were arrested Tuesday without incident in three different Vancouver suburbs.
Police said an investigation into racist and neo-Nazi groups in the region was continuing and indicated additional arrests were likely.
The 65-year-old caretaker, Nirmal Singh Gill, was found beaten and bleeding in the parking lot of a Sikh temple in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey about 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 4. He died later that day in a hospital.
Those charged Wednesday were Robert Kluch, 24; Nathan Leblanc, 25; Daniel Miloszewski, 20, and Radoslaw Synderek, 22. The 17-year-old was also charged, but cannot be identified under the Young Offenders Act.
Investigators said White Power is aligned with other white supremacist groups, including the Northern Hammerskins, the Aryan Nations and the Heritage Front.
The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith estimates 600 young people in Canada are involved in these and other neo-Nazi and skinhead groups.
British Columbia is the province with the most active branches of these groups. Some of them _ as well as some neo-Nazi groups in Europe _ have established websites through an Internet provider in Oliver, British Columbia, that has become the target of a police investigation.
Gill, who emigrated to Canada several years ago to support his wife and son in India, lived on the grounds of the temple and opened it daily for early-morning worshipers.
At its peak, the investigation of his killing involved 45 police officers, including members of the regional hate-crimes unit.
Gill’s slaying was not the first of its type in the area. In 1980, a young Sikh man was kicked to death by a group of racists in a south Vancouver park.
``I thought we were past all that. I thought we had made some improvements in race relations,″ said Charan Gill of the British Columbia Organization to Fight Racism.
``This ugly incident is bringing back bad memories.″