Manjit Panghali was a Canadian woman of Indian origin who was brutally burnt to death by her husband, Mukhtiar Panghali, on 18 October 2006. At the time of the murder, Manjit was four months pregnant. She had a three-year-old daughter when she was strangulated by her husband and then burnt at the Deltaport causeway in South Delta in British Columbia, Canada.
Manjit Panghali was born on Friday, 4 July 1975 (age 31 years; at the time of death). Her zodiac sign was Cancer.
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Her father’s name is Resham Basra, and her mother’s name is Surinder Basra.
Manjit Panghali has a sister and brother named Jasmine Bhambra and Tur Basra, respectively.
Jasmine Bhambra is a real estate professional at RE/MAX Little Oak Realty in Abbotsford, Canada. Jasmine Bhambra is married to Monty Bhambra.
Husband & Children
Manjit Panghali was married to Mukhtiar Panghali.
The couple has a daughter named Maya.
Manjit was an elementary teacher at North Ridge Elementary School in 2006. On 18 October 2006, Manjit Panghali disappeared after attending a prenatal yoga class in Surrey. After twenty-six hours of her disappearance, her husband, Mukhtiar Panghali, lodged a complaint to the Canadian police. After five days, on 23 October, at the Deltaport causeway in South Delta in British Columbia, Canada, the remains of Manjit Panghali’s burnt body were found.
Manjit Panghali was seen crying during the media conferences while appealing for Manjit Panghali’s safe return soon after the disappearance of Manjit Panghali.
Mukhtiar Panghali’s Arrest
The vehicle of Manjit Panghali was found locked with the alarm armed along with her burnt body at the Delta beach after five days of her disappearance. The Canadian police detained Mukhtiar Panghali, the husband of Manjit’s Panghali, on 12 March 2007 as the prime suspect in Manjit’s murder. During the police investigation, Mukhtiar was caught in surveillance footage while buying a lighter and a newspaper at the night when his wife, Manjit Panghali, went missing. The police stated that Mukhtiar Panghali first took Manjit Panghali from prenatal yoga classes to their home and strangled her there. He then moved her body to the Deltaport causeway in South Delta, where he burnt it.
During the court trials, initially, Mukhtiar claimed that he was not guilty; however, later, he admitted his crime and stated that Manjit was murdered by him as he had negative feelings for her.
Mukhtiar Panghali’s Sentence
Mukhtiar Panghali was found guilty for Manjit Panghali’s murder in November 2010. He was charged with second-degree murder allegations. In addition to this, he was convicted under the charges of interfering with human remains. In February 2011, he was granted life imprisonment with no chance of parole for 15 years by the British Columbia Supreme Court. Soon after the verdict, the killing incident was narrated by the Crown prosecutor Dennis Murray as,
The teacher killed his wife after she’d returned home from a prenatal yoga class, staged the discovery of her car in Whalley, burned her body on a remote beach along DeltaPort causeway in South Delta, and then delayed for as long as he could to lodge a missing persons complaint with the Surrey RCMP.”
According to B.C. Supreme Court Crown lawyer Dennis Murray, in a media statement in March 2011, the main objective behind the murder remained unknown.
Excerpts from Manjit Panghali’s Diary and Letters
The Canadian police disclosed the diary and letters written by Manjit Panghali to the media in December 2010. The letters and diary entries disclosed that Manjit was suffering from depression due to her married life and was trying hard to keep her relationship alive with Mukhtiar Panghali. According to the family members of Manjit Panghali, soon after the birth of the couple’s daughter, Manjit was suffering from depression and anxiety. In one of the entries in her diary, Manjit wrote,
I am writing today because I thought that I would never let myself get to this point. I am clinically depressed and on medication. I am so scared. My husband does not give me the support I need.”
Manjit narrated in her writings that she was taking the help of drinks and drugs to keep herself high. She wrote,
I feel shattered, destroyed, crumbled. I want to drink, do drugs – do something that will lift me up.”
Her married life was mentioned by Manjit Panghali in one of the entries of her diary. She wrote,
We need to do some work on our marriage. We need to plan it in order that our relationship doesn’t disintegrate. We need to do some work on this relationship. I need to stay connected to him. Make him love me again.”
She further continued by explaining the drinking problem of her husband, Mukhtiar Panghali. She wrote,
I feel helpless. I hate life. It’s so hard to live in two cultures. He makes me feel so powerless, so hopeless, so scared. I once had no doubts about our lives together, my role in your life and our future, but now I am very scared about what the future holds for us.”
Several marriage issues were mentioned by Manjit Panghali in one of the letters to Mukhtiar Panghali. She wrote,
We have struggled with many issues – sex, drugs, alcohol, colleagues, family, our ability to communicate, be affectionate, love again. I don’t know if you have enjoyed the relationship we have had.”
Manjit mentioned in her diary that she did not want her second child. She wrote,
I definitely don’t want to bring another child in this chaos. The chaos can [simply] be you drink and I don’t know how to cope. You let us down by not being around. You get upset and mean.”
According to Manjit Panghali, she celebrated her 31st birthday with her husband on 4 July 2006. On 18 August 2006, she made an entry in her diary stating that Mukhtiar was happy with the second pregnancy news. She wrote,
MP though for sure I was pregnant and gave me a lovely card on our anniversary. He was very excited and was [sic] treating me like a princess. I could not stop crying because I was so thrilled.”
Unescorted Leaves from Prison
Mukhtiar Panghali was given unescorted leaves from prison in October 2021, so that he could meet his family members and try to reintegrate into society again. However, he was prohibited to meet his daughter, Maya, and Manjit Panghali’s family members.
On 18 October 2006, Manjit Panghali was burnt to death by her husband at Deltaport causeway in South Delta, Canada.
- She was lovingly called by the name Manj by her family members.
- The custody of the couple’s three-year-old child, Maya, was given to Manjit’s sister Jasmine Bhambhra by the British Columbia Supreme Court. Soon after the arrest of Mukhtiar Panghali, the family members of Manjit and Mukhtiar fought a legal battle for the custody of Maya. In an interview with a media house, Jasmine stated that the battle for Maya’s custody was horrific and traumatic. She said,
The custody battle was horrific and very traumatic, having to relive the trauma. It was horrific to see his face all the time. It was the most difficult time of my life.”
- In February 2011, Manjit Panghali’s brother-in-law Sukhvinder Panghali was charged by the British Columbia Supreme Court with ‘accessory to murder.’
- A web series titled ‘Til Death Do Us Part: The Murder Of Manjit Basra,’ which was based on the murder and life circumstances of Manjit Panghali, was announced to be released on the OTT platform Discovery Plus in March 2022.