Still No Justice For Jassi

Still no justice for Jassi
a decade after Maple Ridge woman's
murder in India

Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu was murdered for spurning an arranged marriage and wedding a rickshaw driver. No charges have been laid in Canada

The Province - June 10, 2010 2:19 PM

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The body of Jassi Kaur Sidhu, badly beaten with her throat slit, was found in a canal in the Punjab.

Photograph by: Handout, PNG file

A decade after a Maple Ridge woman was murdered in India, Canada appears to be no closer to criminal charges against any Canadian in the death of Jaswinder "Jassi" Kaur Sidhu.

It was June 8, 2000, when the young bride, who had married an Indian rickshaw driver against her family's wishes, was found dead in a canal in the Punjab.

Jassi had been kidnapped, was badly beaten and her throat was slit.

Her grief-stricken husband, Sukhwinder Singh, known as Mithu, still hopes for justice for Jassi.

In his home in a small Punjabi village, Mithu, now 34, reportedly keeps a lamp burning in front of his wife's photo.

This week, according to the South Asian Post, Mithu led a small religious ceremony for his family in memory of Jassi, the victim of what Indian police allege was a murder ordered by Jassi's own mother and uncle, both of whom still live in Maple Ridge ( B.C. Canada ).

Indian police alleged that the order to kill Jassi "came from Canada," and have charged Jassi's mother Malkiat Kaur Sidhu and uncle Surjit Singh Badesha with conspiracy to commit murder.

The brother and sister are members of the local Sikh community and together own Maple Ridge property, including a blueberry farm, worth $2.6 million.

Neither has been charged in Canada with any crime related to Jassi's death.

In 2007, the RCMP sent two officers to India as part of its investigation.

RCMP Cpl. Annie Linteau said Tuesday that "the Jassi Sidhu case is still between the Indian authorities and the Canadian Department of Justice."

"The RCMP are awaiting further instruction from the Department of Justice. The RCMP's liaison officer in New Delhi is working closely with the Indian authorities and the Department of Justice in Ottawa in an effort to further this investigation."

Linteau would not confirm, however, whether the RCMP's investigation is focused on either Jassi's mother Malkiat or her uncle Surjit.

A man who identified himself only as "a nephew" of Surjit answered the phone at the Badesha extended family residence in Maple Ridge, but quickly hung up.

"We want nothing to do with it," he said when asked about the investigation into Jassi's death. "If you're from the newspaper, we've got nothing to say."

Indian authorities allege that Malkiat Kaur and her brother Surjit Singh Badesha paid $50,000 to thugs who carried out a hit on the couple.

Several people were arrested in India in connection with Jassi's death.

According to the South Asian Post, the four men convicted in India include another uncle of Jassi's and a former Punjab cop, both of whom are appealing their life-imprisonment terms to the Supreme Court in India.

Jassi's mother and Surjit Singh Badesha have kept silent for a decade except to protest their innocence in Jassi's death.

South Asian Post publisher Harbinder Singh Sewak has set up a website called, hired lawyers in India and plans to soon release a book.

The South Asian Post reports that Insp. Swaran Singh, the lead investigator in the case in India, complained recently: "It is a travesty of justice . . . I don't know what else the Canadians need to charge and extradite the two people from Maple Ridge."

Singh is reported to have met with the RCMP officials who visited India and has sought the extradition of Jassi's mother and uncle from Maple Ridge to India.

Meanwhile, the South Asian Post also reports that life has been difficult for Jassi's husband, whom she married secretly in April 1999 while on a trip to India with her mother.

Mithu was allegedly badly beaten by the thugs who abducted Jassi, spent months in a coma and has been falsely accused of rape and robbery by his wife's relatives in India.

He has since been absolved of any crimes but reportedly believes his wife's real murderers have yet to face justice, either in Canada or India.

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