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Contract Killings


Friday, 21 March 2008

Gursewak Singh Gill and Amanpal Kaur Gill contract killing carried out at the behest of a brother-sister duo

Contract killings involving non-resident Indians have increased in Punjab in recent years. In most cases, failed marriages, illicit affairs and property disputes are the main reason why NRIs get people killed. The killings are carried out in Punjab and not in the adopted countries of these NRIs because of the lax laws here, said Baath.A rogue policeman and the parents of two Canadian siblings charged in connection with the same double murder were arrested in Punjab’s Moga town last week.The trio was arrested for its involvement in the alleged honour killing of a young Ontario man who was gunned down near the quiet agricultural hamlet of Gonsgarh near Moga in a sensational Valentine’s Day assassination last month.The arrests have sent shock waves through the Punjab heartland, already reeling with the news that two “decent youngsters” who left the agrarian region for Canada and a better life allegedly scripted a dark, murderous plot writ large across their proud and ancient homeland.
In total, four members of one family, a crooked gun-for-hire cop and a fifth accused currently in the wind all allegedly cooked up and executed the vindictive murder plot after the targeted young victim reportedly dumped his Canadian lover to marry a Punjabi girl in a marriage arranged by his family near his ancestral home.Jasbir Singh, a 25-year-old truck driver from Brampton, was murdered just hours after his sister’s wedding and a day before his own traditional nuptials in an alleged contract killing carried out at the behest of a brother-sister duo, Gursewak Singh Gill and Amanpal Kaur Gill, both based in Brampton, Ont. where they have been living for the past five years.Jasbir’s cousin Harpreet Singh, an innocent bystander, was also killed after a contract killer - or killers - pumped several bullets into the young men after their vehicle was run off the road in the nearby village of Nihal Singhwala, where Jasbir’s sister’s wedding had just been held and where he was to be wed the very next day. A third man in the victims’ car, Manjit Singh, who was sitting next to Jasbir in the front seat when a volley of bullets was fired through the side windows, survived the brazen, roadside attack.“Harpreet, sitting in the backseat, tried to jump out and was shot,” said Manjit, who described the assassins car as a white Honda City, a key observation that helped crack the bizarre case.
Police said Gursewak was seen by witnesses during the run-up to the wedding celebrations in a white Honday City with several other men.
The Moga police have arrested Ashwini, a policeman with the Indian Reserve Battalion, as well as Punjab Singh Gill and his wife Gurmeet Kaur Gill. While Ashwini has been charged with the actual murders of Jasbir and his cousin, Punjab and Gurmeet – parents of siblings Gursewak and Amanpal - have been charged with conspiracy.Investigations have revealed that no money was ever handed over for Jasbir’s murder, but police have established jealousy and perceived dishonour – as well as allegations of failed dowry bidding - as possible motives and precursors to the crime.Moga district police chief Ashok Baath said that the police are trying to nab another accused, Amit, for his role in the killings, but offered no further details.Baath also said that police are “initiating the process” with Ottawa to get the brother-sister duo extradited from Canada to answer for their crimes. In an earlier statement to police obtained by the South Asian Post, the duo’s mother, Gurmeet, said: “My children are innocent . . . Amanpal wanted to marry Jasbir . . . We even offered them more money for the marriage as Jasbir was marrying the other girl for a hefty dowry. My son had come to India on Jan. 27 and gone back on Feb. 12. How could he be the killer?”Justice Canada would not confirm nor deny whether Gursewak and Amanpal are being extradited, stating privacy rules surrounding state-to-state communications in matters of extradition.Repeated calls to the siblings homes and cell phones went unanswered.Jasbir, who was reportedly having “an affair” with Amanpal back in Brampton and was a friend and workmate of her brother Gursewak, was waylaid near his native village during his return from nearby Nihal Singhwala.
According to Jasbir’s brother-in-law, Rajvinder Singh, also a Canadian, Jasbir made it clear to Amanpal that their Western-style relationship would never lead to marriage and that he was promised through family ties to a young woman in the village of Nihal Singhwala.Nevertheless, Amanpal was reportedly infuriated at being spurned while her brother was allegedly outraged over the “dishonouring” of his sister.“She had threatened that if he married some other girl in India, he would never return to Canada,” claimed Rajvinder.In an earlier interview with the South Asian Post, Moga district police chief Baath suggested the murder was indeed planned by, “a woman scorned.”In a dramatic twist, the rogue cop Ashwani revealed under police interrogation that Gursewak had married his own sister Amanpal on paper under the adopted name and passport of Inderjit Singh to help her migrate to Canada. If verified, this immigration crime could well lead to the expulsion from Canada of both Gursewak and Amanpal.
The money involved in each contract killing, according to police officials, is anything between $5,000 and $125,000.Interestingly, this trend is picking up even as the Punjab government last month announced the formation of six police stations in the state exclusively for NRIs to deal with their problems in Punjab.Said Jalandhar range deputy inspector general Narinder Pal Singh: “NRIs sitting abroad think they can get away with it by getting the crime committed in Punjab through contract killers . . . they are wrong.”According to Singh, there have been around two dozen contract killings in Punjab since 2005. In most cases, he said, it is difficult to nab the suspect NRI as he – or she – is typically safely ensconced overseas in an adopted homeland behind the shield of geography and international law.
Perhaps the most infamous case locally was that of Maple Ridge beautician Jaswinder Kuar alias Jassi, a young NRI woman who was murdered in a gruesome barnyard knifing in Malerkotla town in June 2000. Her death was an “honour killing,” payback from her family which was upset she had secretly married a lowly rickshaw driver.
The murder was carried out by contract killers at the family’s behest.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently upheld the life imprisonment of four relatives of Jaswinder Kaur.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These contract dishonor killings are tragic all around.

Ellen R. Sheeley, Author
"Reclaiming Honor in Jordan"

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