Each day a ‘nightmare’ in year since Richmond boy mysteriously died in India

A copy photograph of Kevin Jassal who died in India March 2013. Mark van Manen/PNG

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

In the year since 20-year-old Kevin Jassal mysteriously died while on vacation in India, each passing day has been “a nightmare” for his Richmond family.

“It’s been difficult, we’ve been feeling his absence everyday,” Parminder Jassal said of his only son who died March 14, 2013. “Everyday’s been like a nightmare and dreadful.”

It was on a family trip to Ludhiana last March that Jassal found his son’s lifeless body on the floor of a family member’s home. Rumours circulated through the small Indian village that Kevin died of a drug overdose, but Jassal insists it’s untrue and instead believes Kevin was murdered.

The coroner’s report listed aluminum phosphide insecticide poisoning as the cause of death and Jassal points the finger at the family member who was with Kevin at the time, because they’ve allegedly threatened the family before when he refused an arranged marriage to get out of debts.

The police investigation into Kevin’s death is still ongoing in India and Jassal last travelled to Ludhiana four months ago to check in, but he believes once he leaves the country the investigation grinds to a halt.

Parminder Jassal with wife Paramjit and daughter Emin holding a photograph of her brother, Kevin, who used to look after her, in Richmond on August 21, 2013. Mark van Manen/PNG

The past year has been especially hard on his 23-year-old daughter, who is disabled and in a wheelchair, because she was completely dependant on Kevin who helped her up and down stairs.

“It’s been bad,” Jassal said. “We’re all very depressed.”

Family and friends of Kevin held a candlelight vigil to mark the one year anniversary of his death on Friday at Gary Point in Richmond.

Jassal hopes to eventually build a legacy for his only son by starting a scholarship, but right now, it’s something he’s just “not up to” yet.

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lcahute@vancouverdesi.com
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