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Seven get life term for murder of Canadian NRI Jassi
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 21
In the much-publicised supari killing of Jaswinder Kaur, alias Jassi, a 25-year-old non-resident Indian from Canada, Mr Inderjit Singh Walia, Additional Sessions Judge, Sangrur, today awarded life imprisonment to seven accused, including a Head Constable of Punjab police, while four others were acquitted. All the seven accused have also been ordered to pay a fine of Rs 5,000 each.

The names of the seven accused, who have been awarded life imprisonment, are Joginder Singh, Head Constable; Gurwinder Singh Cheema, Darshan Singh, Hardev Singh, Gursharan Singh, Anil Kumar and Ashwani Kumar. The court acquitted Gurnek Singh Bhatti, Ravinder Singh, alias Leelu, Kamaljit Singh and Jaswant Singh.

However, the police had already initiated extradition proceedings against Malkiat Kaur and Surjit Singh, the mother and maternal uncle, respectively of Jassi, and alleged accused in the case, but they are still at large, as they could not be brought back to India.

On the intervening night of June 8 and 9, 2000 Sukhwinder Singh, alias Mithoo, and his wife Jaswinder Kaur, alias Jassi, an NRI from Canada, were attacked by car-borne criminals near Narike village (Amargarh) when they were returning from Malerkotla on a scooter. Sukhwinder Singh was badly injured while his wife was forcibly bundled into the car and taken away. Her body was found with throat slit the following day from a canal near Bulara village in Ludhiana. A case was registered by the Amargarh police in this regard on June 9, 2000, under sections 302, 364, 307, 326, 148, 149 and 120-B of the IPC.

Jaswinder Kaur, a resident of Mapleridge, Surrey, Canada, fell in love with Sukhwinder Singh, a boy from her native village Kaunkey near Jagraon. They got married in court against the wishes of Jassiís parents. The marriage was opposed by Jassiís mother, Malkiat Kaur, and her maternal uncle, Mr Surjit Singh, who had a strong influence over Jassiís family in Canada. Meanwhile Jassi decided to take away Sukhwinder with her. But Surjit Singh and Malkiat Kaur allegedly hatched a conspiracy to kill Jassi through contract killers. They contacted Darshan Singh of Kaunkey Kalan village, to whose daughter Surjitís son was engaged, to hire professional killers.

Darshan Singh reportedly contacted Gurnek Singh Bhatti, a photographer from Moga, who was known to Joginder Singh, then Sub-Inspector and incharge of the CIA, Ludhiana. Bhatti took Darshan Singh and Surjit Singh to meet Sub-Inspector Joginder Singh, who in turn contacted Anil Kumar who allegedly headed a land grab mafia in Ludhiana, and arranged a meeting among Darshan Singh, Surjit Singh and Anil Kumar, where a deal was struck for Rs 5 lakh. Then Surjit Singh flew back to Canada after instructing Darshan Singh to give Rs 4 lakh as advance money.

The police had arrested in the first week of July 2000 several members of a high-tech contract killersí gang, namely Anil Kumar, Ashwani, alias Ashu, Gurwinder Cheema, alias Ginder, Gursharan, alias Tony, Jaswant Singh, alias Soni, Ravinder Singh, alias Leelu, and Kamaljit, alias Komal. The police also arrested Darshan Singh and Gurnek Singh Bhatti. Later, on January 19, 2001, the Sangrur police arrested Joginder Singh, Head Constable (earlier Sub-Inspector and incharge of CIA staff, Ludhiana), allegedly involved in the Jassi murder case.

Then Additional Sessions Judge, Sangrur, Mr R.P. Nagrath, framed charges on February 20, 2001, against 11 alleged accused under Sections 302, 307, 364 and 120-B of the IPC in the Jassi murder case. All 11 alleged accused against whom charges were framed were Joginder Singh, Head Constable; Gurwinder Singh, Darshan Singh, Hardev Singh, Gursharan Singh, Anil Kumar, Ravinder Singh, Ashwani Kumar, Jaswant Singh, Kamaljit Singh, and Gurnek Singh.

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