BRAMPTON: A Brampton Indo-Canadian Punjabi man, who led a group of young men in beating three men with sticks and bats at traffic lights here on June 20, has fled to India.
Police believe that Rankirat Singh, 20, of Brampton fled to India by boarding a flight to New Delhi shortly after the attack.
But on Thursday, police charged another person – Kinderbir Singh, 20, of Brampton – with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of assault with a weapon in the group assault.
Hunt is on to arrest the remaining Indo-Canadian young men involved in the attack – they could number from eight to 20.
According to police, Rankirat Singh had signed a lease for a Brampton property earlier this month through one of the victims and paid the deposit. But the property owner changed his mind and wanted to return the deposit to Rankirat Singh.
When the victim informed Rankirat Singh that the property owner has changed his mind and he would come to him to return the deposit, a heated argument ensued between them.
On June 20 just after midnight, when the victim (broker) with his two friends drove to Rankirat Singh to return the deposit at a pre-arranged place, they found several vehicles and many men with bats and sticks.
Fearing for their safety, the three fled in their vehicle, with Rankirat Singh and his accomplices in their pursuit. When the three stopped at a red light on Winston Churchill Boulevard and Steeles Avenue in Halton Hills, they were attacked by Rankirat Singh and others with sticks and bats.
After the violence, a video appeared on social media in which a young woman claiming to be Rankirat Singh’s girlfriend said Rankirat had arranged the lease for her.
She says when she told the property owner (Jaskaran) that she will stay alone with other girls in the rented accommodation, he started flirting with her. She said she first ignored his flirting but then it became too much for her as he wanted to meet her alone late and asked for her social media ID. She says the property owner even offered to waive her first month’s rent if she `cooperated’ with him. The woman said she has all his text messages on her phone.
The woman says she told her boyfriend Rankirat Singh that how the property owner has misbehaved with her. She says Rankirat called Jaskaran and the two had heated arguments. She says Jaskaran then cancelled the lease and asked Rankirat to meet him immediate to get back his deposit. The violence took place when the two men met.
The incident angered the Indo-Canadian community in Brampton. Four Sikhs MPs of Brampton also came out with a statement, warning students from India that they could be deported. A community meeting this week with Brampton mayor Linda Jaffrey, police officials, MPs and MPPs expressed serious concern over the growing group violence among the youth.