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Surrey shootings show Indo-Canadian community needs a wake up call: former AG

Last Updated Apr 23, 2015 at 7:08 am PDT

(Courtesy LinkedIn

SURREY (NEWS1130) – A wake up call is what a former BC attorney general says the Indo-Canadian community needs after several shootings in Surrey and Delta.

Wally Oppal says there are two big problems — one is holding sons in such high regard and the other is the community is too worried about what other people think. “Other cultures have those same characteristics but for some reason in our Indo-Canadian culture it seems to be more prevalent than ever.”

He says it’s well known that when police have gone door to door to warn parents of their kids’ activities, families often deny and say their boys would never get involved in something like that.

“The Indo-Canadian community needs to take ownership of the fact that many of the young men in that community, in disproportionate numbers, are involved in the drug trade. The parents have to ask their children where they are,” he explains. “Why is it that the families don’t know where their sons are. Why is it that the families don’t teach their sons the values of good citizenship, good behaviour and more properly, responsibility and accountability.”

Oppal says there have been many accomplishments in the community, but they’re often getting overshadowed by the crime. He also acknowledges his comments may seem controversial.

Gang author and speaker Ranj Dhaliwal echoes the concerns but says the problem has been around for decades.

“I think the community needed a wake up call a couple decades ago to be honest with you. For those families that are out there and haven’t read the news reports in the last couple of decades with the [number] of South Asian young men who have been murdered in that criminal life style, they really need to give their heads a shake,” says Dhaliwal. “It’s up to the families and the friends of the victims and those involved in the shootings.”

Police say the street level drug turf war in Surrey involves a group of Somalis against a group of Punjabis.