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

FILE – Oshawa Generals forward Anthony Cirelli, left, shoots and scores his team’s first goal against Kelowna Rockets goalie Jackson Whistle during second period action at the Memorial Cup final in Quebec City on Sunday, May 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
B.C. government approves plan in principle to allow WHL to resume in the province

League includes Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars, Vancouver Giants, Victoria Royals

Aerial view of the Capital Regional District residuals treatment facility at Hartland Landfill where residual solids are turned into Class A biosolids. (Photo courtesy CRD)
Plant closure sends more biosolids to Hartland Landfill

Saanich residents are concerned they were never consulted

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic, operated by Island Health, has opened at the University of Victoria’s McKinnon Gym. (Photo courtesy of UVic)
COVID-19 vaccination clinic opens at University of Victoria

Clinic is staffed and operated by Island Health

Saanich Coun. Susan Brice and Mayor Fred Haynes are calling on the province to develop new solutions for emergency response to mental health crises with the consideration of a potential new 911 category. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich mayor, councillor call for new solutions to mental health emergencies

Shifting response from police to trained mental health team the best option, mayor says

Sgt. Sandrine Perry in the Oak Bay Police Department interview room that has been softened with household features to better accommodate survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay police interview room gets a makeover

Room made less daunting for victims of trauma

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

A copy of the book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator’s legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children’s titles including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” because of insensitive and racist imagery. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images

Books affected include McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

The fundraising effort to purchase 40 hectares west of Cottonwood Lake announced its success this week. Photo: Submitted
Nelson society raises $400K to save regional park from logging project

The Nelson community group has raised $400,000 to purchase 40 hectares of forest

AstraZeneca’s vaccine ready for use at the vaccination centre in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Reichel/dpa via AP
National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

NACI panel said vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred for seniors ‘due to suggested superior efficacy’

A public health order has extended the types of health care professionals who can give the COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
‘It’s great that midwives are included’ in rollout of B.C.’s COVID vaccine plan, says college

The order will help the province staff the mass vaccination clinics planned for April

Shipping containers are seen at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Canadian economy contracted 5.4 per cent in 2020, worst year on record

Drop was largely due to shutdowns in the spring as COVID began to spread

The Nanaimo Clippers in action at Frank Crane Arena in early 2020. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Clippers for sale, owner says hockey won’t be back to normal any time soon

Wes Mussio says he’s had numerous inquiries about the junior A club already

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Most Read