UK: Mother and son from Sikh family jailed for "honour" killing
Bachan, a mother of six and grandmother of 16, ordered Surjit's death at a family meeting after discovering that her daughter-in-law, a customs officer at Heathrow airport, had been having an affair and wanted a divorce. It was years before frightened relatives approached police and gave them the evidence they needed to charge Bachan and Sukhdave, Surjit's husband. The pair, both of Willow Tree Lane, Hayes, west London, were found guilty in July of the murder of Surjit, who today would have been 36.
The judge, Giles Forrester, said: "The pair of you decided that the so-called honour of your family members was worth more than the life of this young woman. "You, Bachan, were head of that family. I have no doubt you exercised a controlling influence over other family members."
Surjit's brother, Jagdeesh Singh, praised the efforts of the police but said there had been "failings" in the UK and India, and called for a public inquiry into the killing of his sister and that of Banaz Mahmod, a Kurdish woman murdered by her father and uncle. "The name Surjit means to rewaken and re-enliven," he said. "May your name, my sister, continue to burn brightly for all those silent victims and protect future victims from the same."
19 September 2007
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