News East West
VANCOUVER: In the on-going extradition trial here of Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha, mother and uncle of Jassi Sidhu who was murdered in India in June 2000 allegedly at their behest for marrying a low-caste rickshaw driver in India, a former teacher of Jassi told the court on Wednesday that she opposed her arranged marriage to a much older but rich man.
Deborah Devos, whose beauty school Jassi attended in 1998, told the court that before she secretly married Mithu during her India trip in 1999 Jassi was being forced into an arranged marriage by her uncle.
“She (Jassi) was upset because there was an arranged marriage to a person her uncle had chosen that was quite a lot older than her, and she said the only reason they want me to marry him is because he has lots of money. She did not want to marry him. The only person she wanted to marry was Mithu,’’ Devos testified.
The court also heard how Jassi confided in fellow students about the restrictions she faced at home and how her uncle Badesha treated her.
Devos also narrated how once Badesha came to the school and forcibly took her away. She said at one time she was about to call cops but Jassi told her not to do so as this would compound her problems at home in Maple Ridge, not far from Vancouver.
Earlier, the court was told that police got repeated calls from her and others about Jassi’s problems with her family.
Cpl Andy Cook of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police testified that Jassi had walked into their office two months before her murder in India in June 2000.
Cook said Jassi told the RCMP her “concerns for the safety of her husband (Mithu), who was in India, and she also mentioned that she felt there was some harm that was going to come to him.’’
But all that the cops could do was to give her the phone numbers of the people in the Indian consulate she could contact, Cook testified.
Jassi, who flew to India to bring Mithu to Canada, was murdered on June 8, 2000, near Mithu’s village in Punjab when the couple were going on a scooter. While Mithu survived, Jassi was strangulated and her body thrown into a canal by the hired killers.
Punjab Police investigations confirmed it was an honour killing plotted by her mother and uncle sitting in Canada. Seven people were convicted for the murder.
Her mother and uncle, if deported to India, face trial for plotting her murder.