Former B.C. principal starts scholarship in memory of Jassi Sidhu, killed in India 20 years ago

Sidhu was murdered for marrying against her family’s wishes.

Monday, June 8 marked 20 years to the day that Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu was murdered in the Indian state of Punjab for marrying without her family’s blessing.

And in her honour, former Pitt Meadows Secondary principal James Longridge is intent on keeping his former student’s memory alive by starting up a scholarship.

Starting June 2021, the scholarship will be presented annually to a graduating student from School District 42.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge residents in India to face charges in honour killing

Jassi – as she was known to her friends – graduated from Pitt Meadows Secondary in 1993.

“She was just like so many other kids,” Longridge recalled.

“She had a great sense of humour and was good friends with a number of people.”

The daughter of wealthy blueberry farmers, Jassi met her husband, Sukhwinder Singh Sidhu (a.k.a. Mithu) during a trip to Punjab province in India the following year.

After continuing a long-distance romance in secret for more than four years, the couple married in March of 1999.

In June of the following year, they were attacked while riding a scooter near Sangrur. Mithu barely escaped with his life, but Jassi was killed.

In 2005, seven men were convicted on murder charges in India, but three later had their convictions overturned on appeal.

Jassi’s mother, Malkit Kaur Sidhu, and uncle Surjit Singh Badesha, were accused of orchestrating her murder and the attempted murder of her new husband. But they were only extradited to India in January 2019 to face charges of conspiracy to commit murder in connection with her death. They are currently in an Indian jail awaiting trial.

Longridge said the case really hit home for him when he was watching the news shortly after Jassi’s death.

He began a correspondence campaign, sending letters to MPs, justice ministers, and attorney generals.

“It was because her mother and her uncle were walking around Maple Ridge as if nothing has happened,” Longridge said, “I thought, why aren’t they applauding the idea of a trial so they can prove their innocence?”

Even with the case still ongoing, Longridge fears Jassi’s story is in danger of being forgotten, so is hoping the scholarship will lead to future students striving for justice in her name.

“It’s not like we can bring her back,” the former principal said.

“It would just be nice for people to know who Jassi Sidhu was, and recognize that something really bad happened to a student who was like so many others in the school.”

He brings up that 20 years after her death, he’s still hoping and waiting to see justice for Jassi.

The Jassi Sidhu scholarship will be administered by the Ridge Meadows Education Foundation.

Those looking to contribute to the scholarship or find out more can visit the foundation website at rmef.ca.



ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Pitt MeadowsScholarships

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Most Read