A prominent leader of Surrey’s Sikh community was to appear in court Wednesday accused of trying to kill his wife.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team announced Tuesday that the charge against Baldev Singh Kalsi – president of the Gurdwara Sahib Brookside temple – had been upgraded to attempted murder from aggravated assault.
The 66-year-old was arrested Sunday at a home in the 19400-block of 32 Avenue, where police found his wife, Narinder, in severe medical distress. She was airlifted to hospital and placed on life support.
The next afternoon, IHIT announced the aggravated assault charge.
“This tragic incident is domestic-related and not a random attack. The victim remains in hospital on life support and in critical condition. Her family has been notified,” Staff Sgt. Jennifer Pound said Monday.
Surinder Jabal, spokesman for the temple – at 8365 140 St. – confirmed Kalsi is the current president.
Temple treasurer Vijay Dhiman said Kalsi called him Sunday morning to advise that he was not available to come in that day. He did not say why, Dhiman said.
Jabal and senior vice-president Sardul Singh Rehal were among a number of temple members to attend Surrey Provincial Court for Wednesday’s proceedings, which were postponed until the afternoon. The results were not available by Peace Arch News’ press deadline, however, a scheduled bail hearing was not expected to proceed.
Crown Mike Fortino told the court the morning delay was due to Kalsi being admitted to Surrey Memorial Hospital. He did not have further details, but did say that the senior was “about to be released” from care.
Monday, Jabal told PAN that Kalsi is “very respected in the community” and that news of his arrest “was a surprise.”
“We’ve been working together to build this society for the last 20 years,” he said.
“I think everybody is disappointed to hear this news. It’s very puzzling.”
Jabal said Kalsi’s son told him his mother is “not doing so good.”