Mother and uncle to be extradited to India in “honour” killing case

Michael ShaprayNews

Jaswinder Sidhu of Maple Ridge was stabbed to death in Punjab

Martin MacMahon and The Canadian Press May 9, 2014 4:02 pm

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A mother and uncle accused of ordering the so-called "honour" killing of a young woman from Maple Ridge have been ordered extradited to India by a BC Supreme Court judge.

Jaswinder (Jassi) Sidhu was found stabbed to death in Punjab in June, 2000 and her mother, Malkit Kaur Sidhu, and uncle, Surjit Singh Badesha, are accused of conspiracy in India.

Police in India believe the pair ordered the murder because Sidhu had married a poor rickshaw driver in India, rather than the wealthy older man they preferred.

They fought extradition, arguing there wasn’t enough evidence to force them to face charges in India. The pair will remain in custody until they are extradited.

Twenty-five-year-old Sidhu secretly married against the wishes of her family and fled Canada for India to reunite with her husband. Mithu Sidhu survived the attack.

Four men have already been convicted of murder in India. The judge mentioned a reason for his decision was evidence showing that in the months leading up to the killing, Badesha phoned the four men.

Expert says this doesn’t mean the suspects will go straight to India

News1130′s legal analyst Michael Shapray explains that Canada’s Minister of Justice would need to ensure that prosecutors in India do not pursue capital punishment.

"The minister would have to have negotiations with the extraditing country about not seeking the death penalty because of the constitutional protections that we have in Canada," Shapray says.

Additionally, Shapray says it doesn’t mean the suspects will go straight to India, and if the suspects appeal this ruling, extradition could be put off for years.

Jaswinder Sidhu’s widower happy with decision

"It’s a happy day for him," says Fabian Dawson, who wrote the book Justice for Jassi, and who and contacted Jassi’s husband Mithu when the judgement came down.

"But it brings back a flood of bad memories. He’s struggling to overcome the injuries he sustained in the attack that eventually kill his wife," he adds, pointing out Mithu still has to deal with the injuries to his hand and head from the attack.

"He salutes the court decision. He wants to face the people who killed his wife. He wants to face them in court."