Yesterday, the RCMP's "E" Division, based in Vancouver, announced the arrests
. Taken into custody were Malkit Kaur Sidhu, 63, and Surjit Singh Badesha, 67. Both are residents of Maple Ridge and are the mother and uncle of Jaswinder (Jassi) Kaur Sidhu, who was 25 at the time she was murdered in India.
Jassi was killed in the state of Punjab and her husband, Surkwinder (Mithu) Singh Sidhu, was seriously injured during the attack that took the young woman's life. At the time of her death, Jassi was also a resident of Maple Ridge.
An investigation was commenced by the Indian Police Service and the Punjab Police Service. During the course of the investigation, evidence was uncovered that suggested involvement by parties who were in Canada. Canadian authorities were notified and the Maple Ridge Detachment of the RCMP commenced an investigation.
In 2004, the Canadian investigation was transferred to the "E" Division Major Crime Unit due to the increasing complexity of the matter. RCMP officers travelled to India on several occasions while working on the case.
On Jan. 5, 2012, arrest warrants under the Extradition Act were issued for the mother and uncle by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The two were arrested the following day.
As reported by the CBC's The Fifth Estate
, Jassi came from a wealthy Canadian family. In 2000, she travelled to the village in the Punjab where her parents were born. While there, she met and fell in love with Mithu Singh Sidhu.
Jassi knew her parents would not approve of Mithu because he was a rickshaw driver and his family had no money. So the two decided to get married in secret. But one of Jassi's uncles found out about the secret marriage.
On June 8, 2000, Jassi and her husband were ambushed. Mithu was beaten and left for dead and Jassi was kidnapped. Her body was found in a ditch the next day. Her throat had been slashed.
According to the RCMP, seven others have been convicted in India of murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.
Fabian Dawson, the deputy editor of the Vancouver Province
co-authored a book, Justice for Jassi
. According to Dawson, Mithu has not had an easy time. Dawson was quoted in the Vancouver Sun
First they tried to kill him. Then they killed his wife. Then they tried to kill him again [to prevent him from testifying in court].
Dawson also said Mithu spent four years in an Indian jail on a trumped-up rape charge. After an investigation, the complainant admitted she was paid by another of Jassi's uncles to fabricate the allegations.
The mother and uncle remain in custody pending an extradition hearing.