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

 

Comments are closed

Just Posted

VIDEO: Car goes off Highway 1 and into a ditch in Chilliwack

Eastbound vehicle left the highway ending in the ditch on south side of Luckakuck Way

PHOTOS: Historic look at Chilliwack activities we are missing in the pandemic

Images from the Chilliwack Museum & Archives show sporting events everyone hopes to get back to soon

Emergency crews respond to ATV rollover near Harrison

ATV rolled over on or near Harrison East Forest Service Road near Harrison Hot Springs

Guilty verdict for one of two men in large illegal marijuana grow-operation in Chilliwack

Charges dismissed against property owner where 3,200 plants, 32 kgs of dried weed found in 2017

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Langley vigil demands justice for Ontario animal activist killed protesting slaughterhouse

More than two dozen people gathered at Britco Pork to remember Regan Russell, and fight Bill 156

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read