NEWS

Batalia homicide highlights coming teen domestic violence forum

12/02/2012 06:01 EST | Updated 02/01/2013 05:12 EST
News that the ex-boyfriend of Surrey, B.C., teen Maple Batalia is charged in connection with her death comes as the community gears up for a forum on domestic violence focused on teen dating.

Batalia, 19, was shot in a parking lot at SFU’s Surrey campus on Sept. 28, 2011.

On Saturday, police announced Batalia's ex-boyfriend Gurjinder "Gary" Dhaliwal, 20, had been charged with first-degree murder in connection with her death.

Gursimar Bedi, 22, was charged with manslaughter and being an accessory after the fact.

Batalia's death is serving as the focus of the Surrey Coalition Against Domestic Abuse's forum on Dec. 5.

"The case that we have before us ... really brought the question forward because in the coverage of Maple's death, Maple became everyone's daughter. It's a case that touched many," said Surrey Coun. Barinder Rasode.

"In conversation with the service providers we work with, we had a dialogue — Is this an issue? And yes, our domestic violence unit at the RCMP said violence among teens is something that we should be concerned with."

While the Batalia case is the backdrop for the upcoming forum, the charges against Dhaliwal have not been proven in court.

The two men charged in Batalia's death are expected to appear in court on Monday.

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