Vancouver, March 26 (IANS) A Punjab man who killed his pregnant wife five years ago here was jailed for life Friday.
A former school teacher, Mukhtiar Singh Panghali, 39, was convicted in December for second-degree murder of his wife, Manjit Panghali, and then burning her body in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey in October 2006.
Manjit Panghali, who married Mukhtiar in 1996, was four-month pregnant with her second child when she went missing on October 18, 2006. The couple were reportedly having problems in their marital relationship.
The victim, 30 at the time of her murder, had gone for her pre-natal yoga class and was never seen again, though her car was found abandoned.
A week later, her charred body was located at a place frequented by revelers for drinking and making bonfires.
The suspicion immediately fell on her husband and brother-in-law Sukhwinder who lived with the couple.
During the trial, the prosecution established that Mukhtiar killed his wife when she returned from her yoga class, burnt her body at the said place, and delayed reporting the murder to police by as many as 26 hours after she reportedly went missing.
Calling his crime “repugnant”, the judge asked Panghali if he has anything say about his crime. But the 39-year-old Punjab man said nothing as he sat motionless in the prisoner’s box. Panghali was also given another jail sentence of three and a half years for “interfering” with his wife’s body. This term will run concurrently with his life sentence.
He will not be eligible for parole until 2022.
A teacher at a local school, Manjit left behind a three-year-old daughter Maya, now eight. Her killing is one of quite a few cases of murders of their wives by Indo-Canadian men in recent years.