Newspaper family vows to fight on p.10

By: M.L. Stein Takes up crusade of assassinated editor
and publisher in Vancouver, British Columbia

A tight-knit family vows to continue publishing a Vancouver, B.C., newspaper despite the assassination of its editor and publisher, a fearless crusader against religious and political extremists in the city's Sikh community.
Tara Singh Hayer, 62, who was confined to a wheelchair, was gunned down in his garage as he returned from his office in late November. His wife, hearing the shots, ran down and found him slumped over in his wheelchair. At this writing, no arrests had been made.
Ten years ago, Hayer, founder and publisher of the Indo-Canadian Times, a weekly Punjabi-language paper, was paralyzed from gunshot wounds in an assassination attempt. The shooter is serving a prison sentence.
The Times has not missed an issue since the slaying, says Singh's daughter-in-law, Isabelle Hayer. "We will not be intimidated,"she declares. "The paper is not going to stop because of terrorists," Hayer says. "Everybody in the family is determined that the Times will survive."
Hayer says Vancouver's Sikh population contains a "violent element" that threatens Sikh families with death if they oppose its fundamentalist values. Hayer claims that the Times so enraged some sections of the Sikh community that its members have gone to Canadian and U.S. outlets, warning owners not to sell the Times, which is circulated on both sides of the border, in a range of cities, including New York.
Rattan Mall, editor of another Indian paper in Vancouver, the Indo-Canadian Voice, tells E&P that Tara Singh Hayer once was a supporter of the Sikh separatist movement in Punjab, India, but in recent years had been a moderate on the issue, thereby incurring bitter hostility from fundamentalists in the area.
"Sikhs here are polarized over the independence question and Hayer wrote often about it," Mall adds. "He was against the extremists but would wage personal war against anybody who irritated him."
Hayer, a Sikh scholar, was the author of several books in Punjabi and English, and had won several awards in his native India for his stand on human rights and for propagating the Punjabi language.
Mall says there are 150,000 to 200,000 Indians living in the Vancouver area and the nearby Lower Mainland of British Columbia, and about 80% are Sikhs.
?(Editor & Publisher Web Site: http://www.mediainfo. com) [Caption]
?(copyright: Editor & Publisher January 2, 1999) [Caption]


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