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Contract Killings


Thursday, 6 March 2008

murder-for-hire saga unfolding in Punjab

A Brampton ( Canada) family has been recently caught up in a murder-for-hire saga unfolding in Punjab, India after two young men were gunned down this month.
A Brampton brother and sister had been accused by Indian police of hiring a hitman to kill the woman's ex-lover and his cousin in India on Feb. 13. Indian police say Amanpal Gill and her brother Gursewak Singh Gill allegedly hired the hitman after her lover, Jasbir Singh, a truck driver also from Brampton, went to India for an arranged marriage. The newspaper quoted Ashok Bath, a superintendent with the Moga District police, as saying Mr. Singh did not want to marry Ms. Gill. Mr. Singh, 23, and his cousin Harpreet Singh, 20, were killed when a gunman opened fire on their car while they were on their way home from Mr. Singh's wedding, the newspaper reported.The killing of Jasbir Singh, a 25-year-old NRI from Brampton in Canada, took place on Thursday, a day before his wedding. The Punjab police have booked an NRI brother-sister duo, Gursewak Singh Gill and Amanpal Kaur Gill, for the murder. Jasbir was waylaid near his native village of Saidoke in Moga district, 200 km from here, and sprayed with bullets by men who came in a Honda City car. His cousin, Harpreet Singh, too was killed. Jasbir, who drove a truck-trailer in Canada, reportedly had had an affair with Amanpal in Canada but was getting married to another girl from Punjab. This had infuriated the brother-sister duo. The police are also investigating the immigration angle to the crime after it came to light 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. This is not the only case nor the first of contract killings outsourced to India by NRIs. A number of overseas Indian papers are reporting on this case and all note that these contract killings are on the rise in India because of the lax laws and the problems associated with Canada's complex and snail-paced extradition process. In Punjab’s Doaba belt where the latest occurred, there has been 24 cases of contract killings carried out over the past two years and many of the high profile ones originate with money coming from NRI's living in Canada. August 2003, Canadian doctor Asha Goel was the victim of a brutal beating death in Mumbai, India. There had been a rift among her siblings over a multi-million-dollar inheritance. Dr. Goel, 62, was chief obstetrician at the Headwaters Health Centre in Orangeville, Ontario. Kuldeep Singh of Mukerian was killed in October 2005 following a land dispute with Gurdev Singh, an Indian living in the US. The NRI is said to have paid Rs.1.2 million for the contract killing. November 2005, police allege that Vancouver businessman Bachan Singh Kingra was hacked to death by two hired assassins. The killers were allegedly hired by his oldest daughter, Balwinder Kaur, who was irked by her 64-year-old father’s plan to get a new bride, have a son and give him the family land over her.
Well-established Leicester-based textile factory owner Mohan Singh was murdered outside a dhaba, roadside eatery, near Phillaur town, 15 km from Ludhiana, in August 2006. He was killed by a contract killer, Jasbir Singh, at the behest of his own brother Sukhjivan Singh. A woman was behind the killing, police investigations revealed. July 2007, Indian police arrested Calgary resident Jagtar Singh Mallhi , 32, who had orchestrated a fake car crash with the help of hired killers to murder his wife. He was allegedly upset that his wife would not consent to his illiterate cousin getting married to her university-educated sister. January 2008, Indian police alleged that a Surrey family hired a group of contract killers for about C$3,000 to kill Ranphool Singh of Mundiya village after he failed to come up with the promised Rs30 lakh rupees (C$76,000) dowry for his daughter. (South Asian Post)
The most prominent case is Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu (Jassi) who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in 2000. She was found with her throat slit. She had married a poor man in India who her family did not agree with and Indian police allege that the family who currently live in Maple Ridge, B.C. gave her killer $50,000. The Indian police have tried to extradite her mother Malkiat Kaur and her uncle, Surjit Singh Badesha four times. Her death was an ‘honour killing’ carried out by contract killers at the behest of her family members who were upset that she married a taxi driver.
Jassi's case has been reported on world-wide but the majority of them tend to slip under the table and are under-reported if reported at all in Canada. With this most recent killing there has only been one other mention of it in a Canadian newspaper when the issues are deeply important.

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