Punjab Police team en route to Canada to take custody of accused in Jassi Sidhu case

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha. Photos courtesy of CBC

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha.
Photos courtesy of CBC

A Punjab police team is on the way to Canada to get the custody of B.C. residents Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha, mother and uncle of Jaswinder (Jassi) Sidhu, 25, who was brutally slain in India’s Punjab state. The team is led by India Police Service (IPS) officer Kanwardeep Kaur, according to an Indian publication, Babushahi.com.

The two face charges of conspiracy to murder in Jassi’s suspected honour killing in 2000. Both will be tried in the sessions court of Sangrur, Punjab, according to Babushahi.com.

The Supreme Court of Canada had ruled unanimously earlier this month that the two could be extradited to India.

The Indian police team comprises Kanwardeep Kaur, Superintendent of Police (SP), Headquarters, Patiala; Akashdeep Singh Aulakh, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Dhuri; and Inspector Deepinder Pal Singh, according to the Tribune newspaper.

 

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The fearless Indian cop who ensured justice for Jassi Sidhu of Maple Ridge

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The court said in its judgment released on September 8: “In this case, it was reasonable for the minister to conclude that, on the basis of the assurances he received from India, there was no substantial risk of torture or mistreatment of B and S that would offend the principles of fundamental justice protected by s. 7 of the charter, and that their surrenders were not otherwise unjust or oppressive.”

“I would emphasize that diplomatic assurances need not eliminate any possibility of torture or mistreatment; they must simply form a reasonable basis for the Minister’s finding that there is no substantial risk of torture or mistreatment,” Justice Michael Moldaver wrote for the court.

He noted that this “criminal conduct of the most horrific nature” was especially relevant in the government’s decision to allow the extradition.

 

Sukwinder (Mithu) Singh Sidhu and Jaswinder Kaur (Jassi) Sidhu.

ON January 6, 2012, the RCMP in a statement said: “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 was also seriously injured in this attack.

“Indian authorities, specifically the Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Punjab Police Service (PPS) conducted an investigation into the murder. The investigation uncovered evidence indicating Jassi Sidhu’s family were involved in the homicide from Canada. As a result of an official request from Indian authorities, Ridge Meadows Detachment initiated some investigative enquiries on behalf of the Indian investigation.

“In 2004, because of the international scope of the investigation, members of the RCMP “E” Division Serious Crime took conduct of the enquiries and worked closely with the Indian Police to pursue extradition of the Canadian citizens.

“To that end, members of the “E” Division Major Crime Unit, along with other government officials, traveled on a number of occasions to India and identified a number of new investigative avenues that were instrumental in the extradition process.

“Seven other individuals have already been convicted in India for charges including murder, attempt murder and conspiracy to commit murder in relation to the death of Jassi Sidhu and attempted murder of her husband, Mithu Sidhu. This latest development culminates an exhaustive 11-year international investigation.”

Jassi and Mithu were attacked by criminals near a village while the couple were traveling on a scooter. Mithu was badly injured while his wife was abducted. Her body was later found in a canal. Her throat had been slit.

Indian police allege that the contract killers got the order to kill Jassi from Canada shortly after the girl had spoken to her mother on a cellphone following her abduction.

Her husband recovered, but in 2004 he was jailed for alleged rape, though his family insisted that he was framed by corrupt police who evidently had been bribed by Jassi’s influential relatives in Punjab. He was finally acquitted.

Back in October, 2005, The Tribune newspaper of Punjab reported that an India judge in Sangrur had sentenced seven goons allegedly hired by the victim’s mom and uncle to life in jail. They included a head constable. Four others were acquitted.