ON June 8, 2000, Jaswinder (Jassi) Kaur Sidhu, 25, a resident of Maple Ridge was murdered in Punjab, India. Her husband Sukwinder (Mithu) Singh Sidhu, a poor rickshaw driver, was also seriously injured in the attack carried out by contract killers who were allegedly hired by his wife’s mother Malkit Kaur Sidhu and uncle Surjit Singh Badesha in B.C. Lawyers for the two accused are currently battling an extradition order to India.
While Sidhu is frustrated about the delay in getting his wife’s mother and uncle extradited to India to face justice, the Commission of Inquiry into false cases set up by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered action against the police officials who registered false cases against him, reportedly on the orders of rich, powerful relatives of his wife.
The Commission of Inquiry has also ordered the police officials to pay compensation for the harassment. The amount will be decided by the government.
The Tribune newspaper of Punjab reported on Tuesday that of the 14 contract killers, three are serving a life term.
Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and Justice BS Mehndiratta, in their orders issued on Monday, said: “We are of the considered view that the complainant (Mithu, a resident of Kaunke Khosa in Jagraon) has been unnecessarily harassed. Adequate compensation should be paid to him and recovered from the police officials.”
Her husband, now 41, while moving the commission, had said: “The persons who got my wife killed got me booked in a false case of rape in 2004. I was acquitted in April 2008. These persons have been trying hard to pay me off a large sum for withdrawing the charges against her parents. They have tried to intimidate me with false cases.”
The Tribune reported that the husband told them that on his release from jail in 2008, he was unanimously elected panchayat (village council) member. “I have never been affiliated with the Akalis or the Congress. My enemies didn’t like my political rise and began harassing me through police officials. I was booked in several cases. I was told to reach a ‘compromise’ in my wife’s case. I was beaten up and threatened at the behest of an Akali sarpanch,” he said.
The false cases registered against him were:
- Under the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act on May 22, 2009. He was acquitted by a Ludhiana court in 2015.
- For “snatching” on May 24, 2009. He was acquitted by a Jagraon court on May 4, 2017.
- Under the Excise Act on August 4, 2015, for carrying liquor by the Jagraon police.
- Under the NDPS Act on December 9, 2015, for carrying drugs. He was picked up from his home.