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Post : Surrey to rally against gang violence in wake of teens’ slayings
URL : http://globalnews.ca/news/4273011/surrey-rally-gang-violence-teen-killings/
Posted : June 13, 2018 at 8:26 pm
Author : Simon Little, CKNW
Tags : anti-gang rally, gurpreet lucky sahota, jason jhutty, jesse bhanga, surrey gang, Surrey Gang Violence, Surrey murder, Surrey shooting
Categories : Canada, Crime, News

A week after two Surrey teens were murdered in what police called a targeted shooting, residents of the city are set to gather for a mass rally against gang violence.

Sixteen-year-old Jason Jhutty and 17-year-old Jesse Bhanga were found dead with gunshot wounds near 188th Street and 40th Avenue last Monday ( https://globalnews.ca/news/4253753/surrey-bodies-discovered/ ) .

[readmore label="READ MORE: " link="https://globalnews.ca/news/4261214/jason-singh-jhutty-dead-family-surrey/" text="‘I can’t live without my baby’: mom grieves Surrey teen killed in targeted shooting"]

Speaking on CKNW's The Lynda Steele show, journalist and rally organizer Gurpreet Lucky Sahota said the theme of Wednesday's rally will be a call for the community to "wake up" to the issue.

"We are waking up ourselves," he said.

"Ourselves means parents living in Surrey, we are waking up the politicians, we are waking up the mayor and council and we are waking up police."

Sahota said the youth of the latest murder victims is alarming, and that in his decades-long career covering Indo-Canadian gangs, the ages of those involved have traditionally been much higher.

"The community wants to know why it's happening, where the problem is," he said.

WATCH: Families appeal to end culture of silence

[tp_video id=4062110]

Sahota said one of the key problems in addressing the growing gang violence is convincing the city's South Asian community to admit that gang culture has infiltrated its youth.

"Most of them are in denial mode. They are not admitting that this is a problem and we have to wake up," he said.

"There are some parents who don't believe that my son can be wrong. And they think the police is the first tool to call, but actually it's the last tool. When they call police things are already out of hand now and it's very hard to bring them back."

[readmore label="READ MORE: " link="https://globalnews.ca/news/4061952/maple-batalia-memorial-kris-thind/" text="At Maple Batalia memorial, a call for Kris Thind’s killer to come forward"]

Sahota pointed to the murder of Kalwinder "Kris" Thind, a Vancouver nightclub worker who was fatally stabbed back in January.

He said despite there being at least 50 people present at the time, no one has come forward to cooperate as a witness.

But Sahota argued that tackling the gang problem will take more than just winning over the community.

WATCH: Surrey gang prevention program

[tp_video id=3800385]

He said police need more resources, comparing the City of Surrey with its approximately 800 RCMP officers to the City of Vancouver, which has a similar population and about 1,300 officers.

While Surrey added 100 new officers last year, he argued that two-thirds of them were new recruits, not seasoned officers.

Sahota said he's hoping to start a movement, with volunteers who can help him pressure all levels of government to direct more energy to the issue.

"Each layer has to work," he said.

"[It] doesn't matter if it's parents, doesn't matter if it's the City of Surrey, doesn't matter if it's the federal government or the provincial government. We are [lacking] resources, we are [lacking] willpower."

The rally kicks off at 13450 104 Ave., behind Surrey City Hall, at 6 p.m.

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