Hate Can Kill wins best short documentary award in India

Portrait of Nirmal Singh Gill, slain by skinheads in Surrey in 1998.

The new version documentary of the film looking at the outfall of Sikh gurdwara caretaker Nirmal Singh Gill’s death 25 Years ago in Surrey British Columbia at the hands of white supremacist skinheads has won the award for best short documentary film at the Makhizmitran Film Festival in Tamil Nadu, India. The film was also a semi finalist at the IndieX Film Festival in Los Angeles.

This is a new version of an older documentary which is more comprehensive, it’s got more analysis. Gill, the 65-year-old caretaker of the Guru Nanak Sikh temple on Scott Road, was beaten to death in its parking lot during his late-night watch on Jan. 4, 1998. Five young men who had ties to a neo-Nazi group called the Hammerskins were arrested for second-degree murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Two were sentenced to 18 years in prison and the other three were each sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Speaking to the trial judge’s decision, Lambert said, “In my opinion, he imposed fit sentences for this despicable crime cruelly committed by a gang of racial bigots in pursuit of their racist aims.

Two of the five later appealed their sentences in 2001 but Justice John Lambert, of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia, rejected their arguments, with fellow Justices Harold Hollinrake and Mary Saunders concurring.

There was a huge public outcry following murder. In July 1998, a march against racism in response to Gill’s death drew over 5000 participants.

This is not an old story, this still is a current story. Not much has changed, people are still being killed in places of worship. It happened in Surrey BC and it has happened in Quebec, in New Zealand.

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