British Columbia

20 years after Jassi Sidhu was murdered, court case continues

Jassi Sidhu, who was born and raised in the Fraser Valley, was murdered in India on June 8, 2000. Her mother and uncle were finally extradited to India in 2019 to face a trial for her killing.

Sidhu's mother and uncle, accused of ordering her murder, were only extradited to India in 2019

Jassi Sidhu, born and raised in Maple Ridge, was killed on a visit to India in 2000. Her mother and uncle are currently standing trial in India, accused of ordering her murder. (CBC)

Twenty years ago, Jassi Sidhu was kidnapped with her husband during a visit to the Punjab region in India. The 25-year-old, born and raised in Maple Ridge, was brutally murdered, and her husband, Sukhwinder Mithu Sidhu, badly beaten.

In the years since, a dozen people were charged with Sidhu's murder, and seven were tried. After trials and appeals, three individuals are serving sentences for Sidhu's killing on June 8, 2000. 

However, the alleged instigators of the attack, Sidhu's mother and uncle, Malkit Sidhu and Surjit Badesha — who are accused of plotting her murder because they disapproved of her marrying Sukhwinder Mithu Sidhu — were only extradited to India to stand trial in 2019

In India, the pair, who are both in their 70s, are standing trial on charges of supplying money to contract killers in order to have Jassi Sidhu killed. 

Fabian Dawson, a former deputy editor of The Province and Vancouver Sun, broke the original story about Sidhu's murder in 2000 and has written extensively about the case.

He said Sidhu's murder has been a galvanizing look into family violence, extradition issues, and forced marriage. 

"You can extrapolate a lot of issues from this particular case and look deeper into the systematic abuse that is happening with some of the Indian women in Canada," Dawson said. 

Watch the Fifth Estate documentary on the Jassi Sidhu case:

Justice for Jassi | The Children of Sainte-Justine

The Fifth Estate

2 years ago
45:10
JUSTICE FOR JASSI: A young woman from B.C. was killed during a visit to India in the year 2000. Her mother and uncle allegedly planned it because she married a poor Indian rickshaw driver. 45:10

But justice for Sidhu could still be a long time coming. Dawson says it's merely the beginning of the case in India after two decades, and the trial could go on for some time.

"Assuming they get convicted and the appeal processes start kicking in. You have an appeal process to the highest court in Punjab, and then after that probably an appeal to the Supreme Court of India, so it could take anything from now another five to seven years before any kind of conclusion can be arrived at," he said. 

With files from Anita Bathe

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