THE Nitish Khanna murder trial got underway this week in Brampton, Ontario. The Crown’s case is that four men attacked the murder victim as they hurled insults and egged on each other to hit Khanna, 19, of Toronto hard with golf clubs – a 3-iron and a 1-wood driver – outside the Tasty Bite Restaurant on Torbram Road in Malton at about 2 a.m. on June 20, 2011. They carried on hitting him even after the heads of the club broke and stabbed Khanna at least four times with the jagged edges of the broken clubs, the jurors were told.
The Crown said that one of the wounds Khanna sustained was at least 17 cm deep. It went through his ribs and entered his chest cavity, puncturing his aorta and both lungs.
One of the wounds was at least 17 centimetres deep, penetrating Khanna’s ribs, entering his chest cavity and puncturing his aorta and both lungs, D’Iorio said.
The Crown said he won’t be able to tell jurors which of the four men used the golf clubs to carry out the attack outside the eatery at about 2 a.m. on June 20, 2011.
But Crown said DNA and other evidence will reveal that Harsimran (Harry) Singh Bal, 21, of Brampton and Daljinder Sidhu, 26, of Toronto were involved in the murder.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.
Two other men, Manmeet Kang, 22, and Manjeet Singh, 21, who were also allegedly involved in the attack, fled to India.
(According to news reports in 2011, Khanna worked at the Capital Auto and Truck Rental in Woodbridge. The Tasty Bite Restaurant caters to taxi drivers, the evening shift at Pearson Airport and nearby trucking companies.)
Before the fight, a friend of Bal and Sidhu’s had hurled insults in Punjabi at one of Khanna’s friends in the restaurant washroom. A fight ensued when Khanna and the friend confronted the man and his five friends inside the restaurant, the Crown said.
A restaurant worker intervened and everything appeared normal when Bal and Sindhu’s group left, but Khanna and his two friends did not know that four men from the other group were waiting outside.
Khanna, Bhumin Patel, 22, and another friend agreed with Bal to meet his friends outside the restaurant and walked right into an ambush, the court heard.
Khanna was outnumbered four to one as he was attacked with golf clubs and stomped and stabbed with the broken clubs.
Khanna managed to return to the restaurant before collapsing and paramedics were unable to save him.
Patel told the court that Bal was the man who held Khanna as the others attacked him. When the attack started outside the restaurant, one man was swinging a golf club at Patel, but he managed to get away and phone 9-1-1 as the attackers fled in a car.