By Sunil Narula

Maple Batalia did not deserve to die at such a tender age. She did not deserve to be shot dead (allegedly) by her former boyfriend. If those around Maple had been more keen and aware of what was going on in her life, perhaps the tragedy could have been avoided. But all that is in hindsight now.

At the Surrey Arts Center on Wednesday a lot of prominent speakers touched on the issue of –Teen Dating Now—a seminar on domestic and teen dating abuse. Maple Batalia’s mother, Sarbjit Batalia, also attended the event and passed on her message through Counsellor Barinder Rasode.

“She wants to talk about how we make sure that young people in these situations either learn how to get support for their anger, for their jealousy,” said Rasode.

Sarbjit described Maple as brilliant and hardworking. She told reporters she thought her daughter could handle herself after realizing she was in a relationship that needed to end.

“She made a mistake and I made a mistake, too,” she said, adding parents need to be involved with their children’s lives when they sense something is amiss.

Gurjinder “Garry” Dhaliwal, 21, who is now charged with first degree murder of Maple Batalia (19), apparently could not deal with the fact that Maple did not wish to see him any longer. He could not deal with the fact that she wanted to have new friends.

As in the case of Amanda Todd, are we getting wise after the event? After Amanda’s suicide a lot of anti-bullying events, seminars, walks & vigils have been organised. It is a very nice thing that now youngsters can even report bullying on-line.

It is also a very nice thing that now we are having seminars on teen-dating abuse.

But the only concern is that youngsters do not have to die before people can sit up and start addressing issues like bullying, teen dating abuse and the like.

Those in prominent positions (and others as well) need to be pro-active and watch and observe and deal with issues that teenagers & youngsters have. And deal with these issues before it is too late and someone is already dead.

Anyone who is in an abusive relationship can anonymously report the abuse to Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477.

For causing the death of Maple Batalia, the arrests of Garry Dhaliwal and Gursimar Bedi (22) were announced Saturday afternoon via a press release, followed by a press conference later in the evening, detailing the two men’s identities.

According to Maple’s sister Roseleen, the family were still in shock over the news, something they had long been waiting for after 14 months of grieving.

She spoke to media on behalf of the family, calling the major development “bittersweet”.

“Although we can’t have Maple back, we’re happy to see that the people who are (allegedly) responsible for this will suffer the consequences,” Roseleen said softly, holding back tears. “It has definitely been a long wait but it’s worth the wait.”
“We can finally start to grieve.”