Sikh student jailed for stabbing of pregnant Muslim love rival
By JAMES TOZER
Last updated at 00:14 30 November 2007
death while in the grip of a terrible
obsession with her innocent
Mindy Sanghera, a 23-year-old
Sikh, was destined for a high-flying
dentistry career after a string of
top exam grades when she fell in
love with playboy businessman
Sair Ali, a Muslim.
But when she found out he had
secretly gone through with an
arranged marriage to his teenage
cousin, Sana Ali, and that she was
pregnant, she became consumed with
jealousy and decided to eliminate the
woman standing between them.
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After writing hysterical letters in
which she questioned whether she was
turning into “a psycho”, she waited until
Mr Ali was out at Friday prayers, went
round to confront 17-year-old Sana,
and stabbed her more than 40 times.
In a horrifyingly brutal climax she
then lifted the 11-weeks pregnant
teenager’s top and plunged the knife
deep into her belly.
Yesterday Sanghera was found guilty of murder
and jailed for life with a minimum
term of 14 years.
The frenzied stabbing of a shy, innocent
teenager while she carried an
unborn child horrified millions, but
detectives soon discovered she was
the unwitting victim of an inter-religious
love triangle that would scandalise
Mr Ali, whose family live in a large,
detached house on the outskirts of
Bury, Greater Manchester, had been
betrothed to Sana, his first cousin,
since she was nine.
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But while she received a traditional,
Muslim upbringing in Pakistan, back
in Britain her future husband, now 25, was
enjoying himself, conducting
secret affairs and frequenting nightclubs.
Among his lovers was Harmohinder
Kaur Sanghera, known as Mindy, a
pretty Sikh student who had caught
his eye after they were introduced by
friends in 2005.
She is the youngest daughter of a
respected Punjabi couple living in a
£400,000 house in Solihull in the West
Her father Gurnek is
thought to be a manager for Royal
Mail while her mother Satinder works
at Marks & Spencer.
Mindy was destined for a career in
medicine after achieving straight As
at King Edward the Sixth Grammar School.
At the time of the killing she
was approaching the end of a course
at Birmingham University’s School of
Dentistry and had a posting lined up
at one of the city’s top practices.
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She and Mr Ali, who ran his own
mobile phone business, conducted
their affair in £135-a-night rooms at a
four-star hotel to keep it secret from
By last year she was besotted with
him, saying she wanted to marry him
and have children together.
He told her they could never marry because
his parents would never accept a Sikh
Sanghera, however, was convinced
her future lay with him, and talked of
converting to Islam.
previously not particularly religious,
she started to abstain from alcohol,
began wearing a headscarf and eating
With Sana about to turn 17, preparations were in hand for an elaborate
wedding ceremony back in Pakistan,
after which she joined her husband at
the family home in Bury.
Slight and shy, Sana rarely ventured
outside, and friends said her only
interests were cooking and cleaning.
According to her mother, Maryam
Fatima, she was lonely and disappointed
in her new life with her Westernised
husband, who stayed out late
and had little in common with her.
Mr Ali had failed to consummate the
marriage on their wedding night, and
he admitted he would take Viagra
before having sex with her, but by the
spring of this year it was announced
that she was pregnant.
It ought to have been the signal to
his mistress that they had no future
together, but by now she was beyond
Sanghera would light candle after
candle when he was away, never letting
the flame die out, demanded that
he phone her and speak to her until
she fell asleep, and wrote to him saying
she wanted to be his “golden girl”.
At other times she would make abusive
comments about Sana or demand
to know whether they had had sex the
In one of her letters to him she
wrote: “I think I am going crazy. I
thought I could handle it and deal
with cutting contact with you but I
“Maybe I am a psycho, crazy, or
just a fool, or maybe all of thosethings.”
Rather than cut off contact altogether,
Mr Ali agreed to keep seeing her
until after her exams that summer, and
they secretly entered a temporary
Then finally, in the words of prosecutor
Peter Wright QC, in her “jealousy and
desperation” and frustration at her
predicament, “she allowed all reason and
good sense to desert her”.
They spoke by phone on the evening of
Thursday, May 10, discussing going away
together that weekend.
day, with Mr Ali at mosque and his
teenage brother at college, Sanghera
drove to Bury.
After duping the teenager to let her in,
she went with Sana to the couple’s bedroom,
produced a six-and-a-half inch
kitchen knife, and stabbed her 42 times.
Before fleeing, she plunged the blade
into her belly.
The baby, a boy who was
to have been named Abdul, would have
been due last week.
calmly spoke to Mr Ali on the phone
before returning home, leaving his sister
to discover the horrific scene.
Sanghera admitted visiting Sana but
claimed she had left her alive and well,
and at her trial the defence suggested Mr
Ali had killed her.
She looked shocked as
she was found guilty of murder at Manchester
Crown Court, struggling to keep
her composure and fighting back tears as
the sentence was announced.
In a statement to court, Sana’s husband
– whose behaviour was branded “weak-willed
and reprehensible” at the trial –
said he felt “indescribable” emptiness
since her death.
Sana’s mother said the
family had finally secured justice.
will be happy today,” said Mrs Fatima.