Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Woman Killed for Marrying against Mother's, Uncle's Wishes, Crown

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Woman Killed for Marrying against Mother's, Uncle's Wishes, Crown

Article excerpt

BC woman killed over marriage: Crown

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VANCOUVER - A young British Columbia woman who authorities believe was murdered in a so-called honour killing feared for her life after her family found out about her secret marriage, a Crown lawyer said Monday at the extradition hearing of her mother and uncle.

The murder of Jaswinder "Jassi" Sidhu in India almost 14 years ago was motivated by her decision to marry against the wishes of her family, Deborah Strachan told the court on the first day of final arguments in the case.

The woman's mother, Malkit Kaur Sidhu, and her uncle, Surjit Singh Badesha, face trial in India for conspiracy to commit murder in her death.

The conduct of the two accused amounted to "a systematic campaign of terror perpetrated by the persons sought against Jassi and Mithu in order to end their marriage and restore the family's honour," Strachan told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Gregory Fitch.

Jassi Sidhu and her husband, Sukhwinder (Mithu) Sidhu, were attacked near a small village in the Punjab on June 8, 2000. He survived but her body was found several days later.

During intermittent hearings over the past eight months, the judge heard testimony from Jassi Sidhu's friends and co-workers about her life and her secret love.

Court heard that family members kept her under watch at school and at work, and on more than one occasion, police were called.

In February 2000, her family found out she had married a poor rickshaw driver in India and not the wealthy older man whom of their choice and the situation worsened.

"The evidence is clear, in our submission, that Jassi feared that her uncle would kill her if he ever found out about her relationship with Mithu," Strachan said. "That fear intensified when the marriage was discovered."

Court heard Badesha threatened to kill her and her husband if she didn't sign a letter falsely claiming the marriage was forced upon her, Strachan reminded the judge and threatened her again over returning to India. …

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