Today was an emotional day for the family of Maple Batalia, the Surrey teen who was gunned down in an SFU parking lot in 2011. The Batalia family have waited a long time for justice, but finally today, Gurjinder Dhaliwal was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 21 years.
Friends and family of Maple Batalia had a chance to give victim impact statements, discussing the pain they feel after losing the 19 year old.
Maple’s mother, Sarbjit, gave her statement to the court today in Punjabi, and her family has shared the translation of it:
Where I am standing today I never thought I would stand. My daughter and I have not hurt anyone. We are in this position today because of someone else’s wrong doing.
My life is aimless, and the nights are long. My life feels like a burden. All the colour is lost. I have lost my taste for everything. Whenever I do something I remember how my daughter looked in her coffin. I wish someone had killed me instead of her, it would have been much better than this.
What hurts me the most is you endured so much pain in silence. If you had shared your pain with me you would have been alive today. I don’t understand how this happened to you because you were perfect in so many ways. I never thought you had any problems. But after hearing everything during the last couple months of testimony I realized you led two lives.
One life was of an obedient, hardworking, and loving daughter who was successful in life. And the second life I heard of in court of a girl who was living a life that was being controlled and fell victim abuse.
Maple, you never hurt anyone and always tried to help others. Such a horrible fate you faced I cannot handle. How can someone with such a beautiful soul be killed this way? For a daughter I never raised my hand on, how could someone kill you using both a gun and knife. Seeing you at your deathbed I could not believe what was done to you. Your beautiful body was butchered in such a horrible way.
Maple, you were perfect and were trying to make someone else perfect too but your innocent thinking and misconception that you could change someone was impossible, only a person with humanity and a heart can be changed.
I think this is why God took you in his arms so early because there is no room for good people like you in this world. In such a short life you helped and cared for so many people.
The shocking fact is even in death you are helping and touching the lives of so many. Both me and you dreamed of becoming a doctor and although I could not fulfill this dream due to circumstances but you could have fulfilled this dream for me but could not because someone prevented you from fulfilling all your dreams. Now the bursary in your name will help other girls become doctors and help fulfill the dreams you could not.
Both my daughters were so happy and now one grieves for the other’s loss and this pain is too much for me to handle and see. My daughter stands with me in my grief.
Gary, I heard you during the pretrial say that you were not faithful with Maple, then why did you kill her? As I leave today, please answer my question as to why? Your honour, I trust that your sentence will honour a valuable life who was taken without or reason or just cause.