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.

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

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

 

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

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

Just Posted

The organizers of the annual 39 days of July festival hope to return to live shows in Charles Hoey Park this year, like in this photo taken in 2019, but audiences at the show may be limited to 50 people due to health protocols. (File photo)
39 Days of July hoping for outdoor events in Duncan this summer

Annual music festival will run from June 25 to Aug. 2 this year

Cowichan Valley WildSafeBC coordinator Amanda Crowston teaches a Grade 5/6 class at Ecole Cobble Hill last fall. (Submitted)
The bears are back in town and so is WildSafeBC

The bears are back in town so keep an eye out, reminds… Continue reading

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

North Cowichan has heated exchange over timelines of its official community plan review. (File photo)
North Cowichan’s OCP review divides council

Tight timelines leads to heated debate

Matt Ellison was a star with the Kerry Park Islanders before embarking on a pro career that included stops in the NHL and KHL. (Submitted)
Ex-NHLers to highlight Kerry Park-Peninsula alumni games

Matt Ellison and Kyle Greentree commit to suit up in August

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

David and Julie Kaplan with their children Estelle and Justin. (Special to The News)
COVID-19 border closure stops B.C. family’s cross-country move

Maple Ridge couple, two kids, turned away at New Brunswick border

Kelowna RCMP precinct. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna RCMP reviewing rough arrest after video shared on social media

The video shows an officer punching a man while arresting him for allegedly driving a stolen car

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
B.C. to provide three days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

(Pixabay)
B.C. doctors could face consequences for spreading COVID misinformation: college

College says doctors have a higher level of responsibility to not spread incorrect information

The seasonal Search and Rescue program will run between May to September. ( File photo/Canadian Coast Guard)
North Vancouver Island Coast Guard Inshore Rescue Program ready to relaunch

Teams have protocols in place to ensure COVID-19 safety while providing marine safety net

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about phase two in B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
All of B.C. will eventually ease out of COVID-19 restrictions at same time: Henry

People who have received two doses of a vaccine can’t yet return to post-pandemic activities with each other, she says

Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) watch an incoming shot during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

League eased some tight COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for fully vaccinated clubs

Most Read