MAPLE RIDGE (NEWS 1130) – It has been an agonizing wait for justice for the loved ones of Maple Ridge woman Jassi Sidhu.
But nearly 20 years after she was murdered in a so-called honour killing in India, her mother and uncle have arrived there to face trial.
Sidhu’s mother Malkiat Sidhu, and her uncle, Surjit Badesha are accused of hiring contract killers to carry out this murder.
Former B.C. Premier Ujjal Dosanjh has been following the case and says he has confidence in the Indian justice system.
He admits it “isn’t the most perfect system in the world,” but believes the international attention this case has garnered will play a role.
“Justice plays out in many cases in India, not every case goes bad. But in this case, because of Canadian eyes being upon it, because of India’s own prestige at stake, I think they will do it by the book. That’s my sense.”
Dosanjh believes this case sends an important message, “that women’s lives are as important if not more important than men’s, and that everyone should be treated respectfully.”
“I think that’s the message that Canada has been trying to send clearly, in many cases, in Canada itself. It’s a message that will resonates in India, because India is still home to many honour killings, as are many parts of the world,” Dosanjh adds.
Within the past two decades, Dosanjh believes society is moving in the right direction when it comes to putting an end to honour killings.
“There are huge movements in India, movements of women, movements of social change, movements of equality,” he tells NEWS 1130. “It’s a very vibrant, democratic country.”
However, he adds India is very large, explaining it’s like a large ship that takes time to turn.
“Not being apologetic for it, but it’s a big country, ancient civilization, these things take time to change, but things are changing.”
Members of Sidhu’s family were outraged that she had made the decision to marry a man they didn’t approve of.
To get to this point it has been a long journey which has been anything but straightforward — and there have been previous decisions to reject extradition.
Up to this point, there have been seven people convicted in relation to this case, including for murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy.
Sidhu and Badesha are set to appear in court on Friday.