CHANDIGARH: Two Canadian citizens who arranged the murder of a 25-year-old woman from Punjab 18 years ago have been extradited to India to face trial.
Mother and uncle of Jaswinder (Jassi) Sidhu were handed over by the Royal Canada Mounted Police in an alleged honour killing case.
Sources said that mother Malkit Kaur Sandhu and uncle Surjit Singh Badesha of the 25-year old Jassi were deported to India from Canada and were received by at the IGI airport in Delhi. They were escorted from a facility in British Columbia to Vancouver airport and then from there, they boarded an Air Canada flight to Delhi.
A Punjab Police team led by SP (Investigation) Sangrur Gurmeet Singh took their custody at the airport. They will be brought back to Sangrur where they will be produced before the local court and police will ask for their remand in the case, said sources.
Senior Superintendent of Police of Sangrur Dr Sandeep Garg said that both accused were handed over to the Punjab Police.
The deceased Jaswinder's husband Sukhwinder Singh said that he was quite hopeful that justice will be delivered. Singh has demanded death sentence for both the accused as she had dared to marry him without their consent.
In September 2017, a Punjab Police team that had gone to Canada to secure the duo's custody but were stopped in the last minute at the Toronto airport and had to return empty-handed.
Sources allege that it was on the orders of Malkit and her brother Surjit that Jaswinder, daughter of a multi-millionaire blueberry orchard owner in British Columbia was murdered in 2000 near Jagraon in Sangrur district for marrying against the family's wishes.
In March 1999, she had secretly married Sukhwinder Singh Mithu a kabaddi player who came from a poor Jat Sikh family. Mithu was an auto driver in Punjab at Baba Bakala gurdwara in Amritsar and returned back to Canada in May that year.
She first met him in December 1996 when she had come to India with her mother Malkit Kaur and the two started dating. After returning to, she stayed in touch with him.
Sources say that in February 2000 Sukhwinder was falsely booked on charges of kidnapping and forcible marriage by the Punjab Police on a forged complaint given on behalf of Jassi by her relatives. But in May that year, Jassi came to India and gave the statement to the police in favour of her husband.
In June that year, the hired contract killers attacked the couple when they were returning from Malerkotla. While Jassi was killed, her husband Sukhwinder survived.
The Punjab Police arrested the all the seven attackers (Anil Kumar, Ashwini Kumar, Gurwinder Singh Cheema, Joginder Singh, Hardev Singh, Darshan Singh and Gursharan Singh) in July that year and it came to light that they attack was carried out on the orders of Jassi’s mother and maternal uncle who were both in Canada.
In May 2002, the Punjab Police contacted their Canadian counterparts to extradite Malkit Kaur Sandhu and Surjit Singh Badesha, but their request was turned down. In October 2005 a court in Sangrur pronounced life imprisonment for all the seven accused in the case.
It was in 2005 that again the Punjab Police sought their extradition from Canada. However, even this time, they were denied the same on the basis of the justice system in India.
But in 2012, the Canadian police arrested both of them after social groups mounted pressure. Then in 2014, the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Canada ordered the extradition of both the accused to face trial in the case.
Later the court blocked their extradition but on September 8, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada finally gave its nod for their extradition. Last month, the BC Court of Appeal dismissed their applications for a judicial review.