The family of a woman gunned down in Langley 19 years ago say they feel like they are being victimized all over again.
That’s because the man who had a hand in their loved one’s murder has been granted Unescorted Temporary Absence (UTA) by the Parole Board of Canada.
“He’s not the one paying a life sentence — we are,” said Rupy Sidhu, whose mother, Baljit Kaur Kondolay, was brutally murdered on April 19, 1998.
Baljit was shot twice in the head in front of her Langley home.
Police arrested three men — Kondolay’s husband, Ajit Grewall, his son, Sukhjit Grewall, and the son’s friend, Sandeep Toor.
The Grewalls were both sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder, with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Toor was sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole for 12 years for the lesser charge of second degree murder.
During his trial, it was established that Toor drove the car that transported the men to and from the crime scene.
Speaking on behalf of her family, Sidhu expressed her frustration after Toor was approved for UTA on July 25 at Williams Head Institution in the Greater Victoria area.
“He will be released to a halfway house and will engage in community services with the Salvation Army in Victoria,” Sidhu told the Times Tuesday afternoon, after the hearing.
“The UTA has been approved for a 60-day period, with details to follow of start date and conditions. Once his 60-day UTA is complete he will return to Williams Head Institute. Based on his success he can reapply for another UTA or day parole.”
According to Sidhu, Toor was approved based on a risk assessment where support workers reported that he has continuously improved his behaviour and attitude, with a focus on honesty.
“They believe in the last two years he has expressed feelings of remorse for the murder of my mother,” Sidhu said.
“Truth be told, all attributes and reasons for approval were purely a check box to free up a bed, in a resort-like prison, to make room for another inmate. There is no empathy or remorse for the murder of my mother. All statements made by Toor were well rehearsed. He presented no different in the last hearing when he was denied.”
Sidhu said her family went to this hearing in hopes Toor would be denied and “to be my mother’s voice and we were not heard — my mother did not receive justice.
“Toor will continue on with life while we continue to serve a life sentence of grief. The justice system in Canada is in favour of such criminals, not victims.
“There is no rehabilitation for such heinous crimes,” Sidhu said.