A Maple Ridge man whose wife was killed in India 19 years ago has spoken of her final words.
Sukhwinder Singh Mithu, 42, said his wife pleaded with her killers to leave him alone.
“Don’t hurt my Mithu. Don’t hit him,” he remembers Jaswinder (Jassi) Kaur Sidhu crying.
Mithu has said the couple was attacked on June 8, 2000 while they were in the Punjab together.
They had married in secret a year earlier.
He said a group of people attacked them with sticks and a sword.
When one of their attackers tried to hit him with a sword, Mithu said he ducked and the weapon hit his wife.
He remembers jumping off his scooter and running to her.
“I asked them why they were hitting her. I asked them why they were hitting us. I tried to defend her.”
His wife’s screams haunt him: “She was shouting for help. She was asking ‘Are you OK, Mithu?’“
That’s when he lost consciousness, which would last for three weeks.
His wife’s mother and uncle have been extradited from Canada to India, where they face charges of conspiracy to murder.
Mithu said he is relieved that they will at last face trial, but the past two decades have been hard on him.
Sidhu’s mother and uncle believed the marriage brought dishonour to the family, Indian police have said.
Sidhu and Badesha were extradited to India in January, ending a long legal battle in Canada.
They were arrested on Jan. 6, 2012 — almost 12 years after Jassi Sidhu’s body was found.
In a unanimous decision in 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada set aside a B.C. Court of Appeal ruling that stopped the proceedings over concerns the mother and uncle would be poorly treated or even tortured in India.
Sandeep Garg, the senior superintendent of police in the Sangrur district, said officers are finalizing their case and it will soon be presented to a court.
The lawyer for Sidhu and Badesha said the evidence in his clients’ case is circumstantial.
“The apex court of the country has found no constructive evidence against him and they let him go. Right now there’s nothing against them — there’s no money transaction, there’s nothing.”
With files from the Canadian Press