Friday, 21 November 2014

Murder of an East Indian girl on orders of her mother and her uncle               

Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu, also known as Jassi was a beautician in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada. On a visit to the city of Jagraon, Ludhiana in the Punjab state of India in December 1994, Jassi met and fell in love with Sukhwinder Singh Sidhu (nicknamed Mithu), who was  a rickshaw driver. Jassi returned to Canada and she and Mithu kept in touch over the next four years.

For two years, Jassi and Mithu spoke by telephone and wrote love letters. He wanted to sell his family land and move to Canada. By then, Jassi’s mother wanted Jassi to marry. Jassi told her she wanted to go to India to find a mate.In 1999, Jassi made another trip to India with her mother, Malkiat Kaur Sidhu, an upstanding woman in Vancouver's Punjabi community and her brother, Surjit Singh Badesha.  However as far as Mithu and Jassi were concerned, her intention of being in India was for the purpose of secretly arranging a marriage between the two of them.  They were subsequently married on March 15, 1999.

After Jassi, her mother and uncle had returned to Canada, upon learning of the marriage between Jassi and Mithu, her mother and uncle told Jassi that they strongly disapproved of the marriage, supposedly because Mithu was of a lower status than they were.

Jassi was determined to bring Mithu to Canada to start a new life despite the wrath of her mother and uncle. Because of the disapproval of her mother and uncle, Jassi sent a letter to Ottawa on February 9, 2000, to the Immigration officials telling them that her uncle might try to give them false information about Mithu. In fact that is what her uncle actually did.  Meanwhile her mother and uncle attempted to persuade her to get a divorce by beating her and offering to buy her a car after she divorced her husband. When she refused their demands, she feared for her life after her family found out about her secret marriage.                                                                                                                                                                                         

The next day, Jassi’s uncle, had an affidavit drawn up that said that Mithu and his friends forced Jassi, at gunpoint, to marry Mithu. Actually, Badesha threatened to kill her and her husband if she didn’t sign a letter falsely claiming the marriage was forced upon her. The uncle forged Jassi's signature that he obtained from her under the pretence of buying her a car to validate the complaint against Mithu.

Meanwhile, Jassi was confined to her home with her mother and uncle. She was able to escape from the clutches of her mother and uncle with the help of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police). While she was being escorted out of the house, her mother and uncle screamed insults at her. 

When Jassi discovered that she had been betrayed, she managed to fax a letter to the Indian Officials in India stating that the accusations in the form sent earlier were false.

On April 13, 2000, Jassi flew to India and she convinced the Indian authorities that Mithu was innocent and subsequently, a judge granted bail to Mithu and he was released from jail six days later. 

On April 26, 2000, Jassi’s uncle began calling Darshan Singh, a wealthy local businessman in the Punjab. Darshan Singh's daughter later married Surjit Singh, her uncle’s son.

On June 7, 2000, Jassi’s mother learned that her daughter and Mithu were in hiding at the home of Mithu’s grandparents. She called them there and spokes to Jassi and Mithu. Jassi believed the call was a peace offering and told her mother where they would be during the next few days.

Despite all the benefits of Canada, with its human rights, laws and politically powerful women, police and cultural experts say that Jassi became caught in the wrath of her powerful Jat Sikh family after she married a poor rickshaw driver without their permission. Although Jassi lived in a suburb, worked at a mall, and had Canadian citizenship, that could not save her from one of the most ancient and disgusting cruelties still committed against women—honor killings.

The day after the phone call, they were attacked by a gang of men. Mithu was badly beaten and left for dead. He was found and taken to a hospital in Ludiahna. He told the police that his wife had been kidnapped.

That same day, Jassi was taken to a farmhouse outside Ludihana where she was told by the men that kidnapped her that her husband was dead.  One of the kidnappers, Ashwani Kumar, phoned Jassi’s mother and uncle who were still in in Maple, British Columbia by cell phone. He wanted to know what they were to do with Jassi. According to Indian police, Jassi’s mother ordered Ashwani Kumar to kill Jassi. He followed her instructions and while Jessi was being held down by the other kidnappers, she was briefly tortured and then Ashwani Kumar slit the screaming girl’s throat. She was likely tortured and murdered with a kirpan (small knife) seen in the hands of one of the assailants, and probably the same blood-stained kirpan later found by police at the farm of one of the convicted men. Her body was later found a few days later, dumped in an irrigation canal 45 km (28 miles) from Kaonke Khosa. She was 25 when she was murdered.

On the 18th of June, the Indian police seized weapons, cars and mobile phones from the 11 men suspected of kidnapping and killing Jassi. On July 9, the Indian police arrested the 11 men connected with the murder of Jassi and they admitted that the murder was an honour killing.  Two days later, the police announced that they had issued arrest warrants for Jassi’s mother and uncle. Now one would think that soon after, those two evil bugs would be extradited to India to face the charges of murder. Well, it didn’t happen for quite a long time.

Meanwhile, in 2004, Mithu was re-arrested and charged with the rape of a servant of Darshan Singh, a serious charge for which bail is rarely granted. It was obviously a frame up. He was incarcerated in the Ludhiana Central Jail for four years. His release on April 29, 2008 came about because of the efforts of Harbinder Singh Sewak, who publishes the South Asian Post. He hired lawyers in India to prove Mithu’s innocence and they were successful.

On October 21, 2005, seven of the eleven men arrested were convicted in plotting and killing Jassi. They included Darshan Singh (the wealthy businessman) and former police officer Joginder Singh and Ashwani Kumar who slit Jassi’s throat. They were given life sentences for Jassi’s murder and the attempted murder of Mithu.

The extradition to India from Canada of Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha, (the two bugs who arranged for the murder of Jassi) was as to be expected, stonewalled by Canadian and British Columbia authorities.  For nine years, those two evil bugs remained free. However, on January 5, 2012, arrest warrants under the Canadian Extradition Act were issued for the mother and uncle by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The two were arrested the following day. They were kept in custody until May 30, 2013 when the two bugs were extradited to India to face the charges of first
degree murder.

The victim’s mother, Malkit Kaur Sidhu, and her brother, Surjit Singh Badesha are still facing trial in India for conspiracy to commit murder in her death.

I have no doubt in my mind that those two bugs will be spending the rest of their lives in a filthy decrepit prison or alternatively, hanged by their necks until they are dead. So far, I can’t find anything in the Internet with respect to their pending trials. That could be because it can take quite a while before trials of accused persons in India finally are scheduled.

There is no doubt in my mind that those two bugs will be convicted. There were more than 250 calls between Badesha and some of those men beginning immediately after the illicit marriage came to light. The calls peaked the day his niece, Jassi Sidhu was killed. Further, the Indian police alleged in the previous trials that the contract killers were allegedly paid about $50,000 in Canadian money by Sidhu's mother, Malkiat Kaur and uncle Surjit Singh Badesha, a millionaire blueberry farmer in Maple Ridge. That information is going to be used against those two bugs at their trials. It will hit them like Raid hits other insects.

I will keep my readers up to date as I learn more about what is happening to those two bugs. Whatever I learn will be placed at the end of this article. 

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