04/24/2013 08:32 EDT | Updated 06/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Two Charged In Vancouver's First 2013 Homicide


Two men have been charged in connection with the death of a 19-year-old Vancouver man who was killed with a sword in January.

Amritpal Dhillon, 20, has been charged with second-degree murder and Amritpaul Rakhra, 18, has been charged with manslaughter.

The victim, Manraj Akalirai was attacked in South Vancouver by a large group on Elgin Street near East 47th Avenue, just south of Memorial South Park, on Jan. 23. Several weapons were used in the attack, including bats, clubs and a sword.

His death was Vancouver's first homicide in 2013.

Initially, Vancouver police said while Akalirai did not have a criminal record, there were suggestions the attack had ties to the drug trade and a loose gang connection. Akalirai's family denied those allegations.

Today, Vancouver police said the attack was over a dispute.

Insp. Laurence Rankin says police have spoken with Akalirai's family about the charges.

"They're some measure of comfort," he said. "It won't bring their son back but they know that we've exhausted every investigative avenue at this time."

Vancouver police arrested Dhillon and Rakhra in April. The pair, who are both from Vancouver, appeared in court today and will remain in custody until their next court appearance on May 1.

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