PUNJAB Police Inspector Swaran Singh, the key investigator who handled the case, in an interview with Babushahi.com this week spoke of the threatening calls he received in Punjabi from abroad as he fearlessly investigated the murder of Jaswinder (Jassi) Sidhu, 25, of Maple Ridge, B.C., who was brutally slain in 2000 in India’s Punjab state.
The victim’s mother, Malkit Kaur Sidhu, and uncle, Surjit Singh Badesha, are now being extradited to India to stand trial on charges of conspiracy to murder in the case.
(For more on the case, read our story “Punjab Police team en route to Canada to take custody of accused in Jassi Sidhu case.”)
The case had been handed to Swaran Singh from another police station quite obviously because he must have been known for his honesty and skills. The case involved professional killers and a Punjab cop and so there were security concerns for him. He even moved his family members to another place.
But Swaran Singh, who is now Superintendent of Police (Investigation) at Bathinda, refused to cave in to threats. He said: “I was guided all the time by an overwhelming feeling to ensure justice to the deceased girl who simply loved and desired to marry boy of her choice. As I got involved deeper into the investigation, I felt like as if she was just like my daughter.”
Babushahi.com said most of the pressure on him came during the period when the accused appealed their convictions in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Supreme Court of India. Both the courts upheld the verdict of the lower district court. The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge, Sangrur, Inderjit Singh Walia convicted the accused in 2005.
Swaran Singh said: “One can imagine the pressure when 50-70 persons from the defence side and a battery of lawyers appearing at almost every court appearance. There were top names among the defence lawyers in the HC and SC.”
Babushahi.com said that “for preparing such a watertight case which hardly left any scope for the accused to get bail and resulted in their conviction, Swaran Singh was rewarded with an Appreciation Letter and Rs.31,000 cash by Captain Amarinder Singh during his previous term as the [Punjab] Chief Minister.”