Richmond family suspects murder in India death of 20-year-old man

Published: August 21, 2013

Parminder Jassal here with his wife Paramjit and daughter Emin (in wheelchair) holding a photograph of her brother, Kevin, who used to look after her. Mark van Manen/PNG

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI 

A Richmond family is pleading for answers more than five months after their only son mysteriously died in India on a family vacation.

The family left for Ludhiana, India on Feb. 25 and it was on March 14 that Parminder Jassal found his 20-year-old son Kevin’s lifeless body on the floor of a family member’s home.

He had spent hours that day searching for Kevin, who was supposed to be out for drinks and then off to the gym with a relative.

“When we found Kevin’s body, it had turned blue,” Jassal told Vancouver Desi.

Rumours began to circulate through the small Indian village that his son had died of a drug overdose. Jassal and his family cremated Kevin’s body and held a service in India before they returned to Canada March 22.

But it wasn’t until three-and-a-half weeks ago that Jassal received autopsy results listing the cause of death as aluminum phosphide insecticide poisoning.

According to Jassal, those results only point to a “well-planned murder.”

“We got suspicious only after we received the post-mortem report,” he said. “(Kevin) had never taken any drugs before. He had such a good life.”

Jassal points the finger at the family member with Kevin at the time of his death.

According to Jassal, the case revolves around Kevin refusing an arranged marriage and debts owed to the family — when Jassal asked the relatives to return money owed, they threatened him and Kevin, but the doting father never thought it was something to be taken seriously.

Jassal has since filed complaints and letters with the Chief Minister of Punjab, the Punjab Human Rights Commission, the Ludhiana Police Commissioner, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

According to documents submitted by Jassal, the Punjab Human Rights Commission in Chandigarh has referred the “serious case” to police, requesting an investigation by a senior officer.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada told Vancouver Desi in an email that it’s aware of a Canadian citizen who “passed away” in India and that consular services have been provided.

“We want a hard criminal investigation — because in India they can easily bribe and get (away with it),” said Jassal.

In a number of letters sent to officials, Jassal explains he accepted the drug overdose rumours only because he was “totally confused” and “under very tremendous pressure, severe shock and unrest by losing my only sincere and loving son.”

But he believes the post-mortem report “throws a new light to this murder case.”

Photo of Kevin Jassal. PNG

“I will not let my son’s murderers be unpunished for the crime they have committed,” he said. “Our only hope in this world has been taken away from us.”

“We’ve been crying every day… we don’t even sleep.”

“I just can’t take it that he’s no longer in this world for me.”

Most grief-stricken is his 23-year-old daughter, Eminpreet — disabled and in a wheelchair, she was completely dependent on Kevin.

“My son was a pretty big asset to my daughter — if there was … no elevators he is the one who would bring her up and down (stairs),” said Jassal.

In years past, Eminpreet would celebrate Rakhi with Kevin — the Indian tradition honouring the relationship between brothers and sisters, when a sister ties a bracelet around her brother’s wrist, showing he stands with her against domestic abuse.

But on Wednesday, Eminpreet was forced to break that tradition and instead tie the band around a cousin’s wrist.

“It feels different … he won’t be here,” Eminpreet told Vancouver Desi, her voice coarse as she held back tears.

The Jassals are surrounded by smiling photos and memories of Kevin in their Richmond home — something they “can’t even dare to look at” any more, the now-broken family’s reality too painful to bear.

It all serves as a reminder of the promising young man Kevin will never grow up to be: He’ll never play basketball or soccer again, register for courses at UBC or BCIT, or graduate as an electrical engineer.

“Our home feels empty … dreams are shattered. I don’t know what I will do without my son,” said Jassal.

— with files from Almas Meherally

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

Sri Lankan Air Force pilots fly MiG-27 jet fighters during a passing out ceremony of 329 men and officers in the north-eastern town of Trincomalee on August 21, 2009. Ishara S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images

Motorcyclist miraculously survives crash with Indian fighter jet

VANCOUVER DESI A 26-year-old groom-to-be miraculously survived after an Indian fighter jet collided with his motorcycle in Rajasthan, according to Britain’s Daily Mail. Loon Singh,…
Continue Reading »

Barinder Rasode now is director of social responsibility at Resource Works, a non-profit society that researches the economic impacts of B.C.’s natural resource industries. File photo: Richard Lam/PNG

Barinder Rasode, former Surrey councillor and mayoral candidate, hired by non-profit society

VANCOUVER DESI Former Surrey city councillor and mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode has a new post outside civic politics. Rasode was appointed to Fraser Health’s board…
Continue Reading »

Mahdi Halane was filled with life before being shot in the neck in 2006 as an innocent victim of a drive-by shooting. He died in 2012. A Surrey man has now been charged with manslaughter in the case. Submitted photo/Surrey Now

Family of innocent victim of Surrey drive-by shooting ‘very nervous’ as they face son’s alleged killer in court eight years later

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY, B.C. — The Halane family received another knock at their door late Friday night. The last time police came calling, in…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Barinder Rasode now is director of social responsibility at Resource Works, a non-profit society that researches the economic impacts of B.C.’s natural resource industries. File photo: Richard Lam/PNG

Barinder Rasode, former Surrey councillor and mayoral candidate, hired by non-profit society

VANCOUVER DESI Former Surrey city councillor and mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode has a new post outside civic politics. Rasode was appointed to Fraser Health’s board…
Continue Reading »

Mahdi Halane was filled with life before being shot in the neck in 2006 as an innocent victim of a drive-by shooting. He died in 2012. A Surrey man has now been charged with manslaughter in the case. Submitted photo/Surrey Now

Family of innocent victim of Surrey drive-by shooting ‘very nervous’ as they face son’s alleged killer in court eight years later

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY, B.C. — The Halane family received another knock at their door late Friday night. The last time police came calling, in…
Continue Reading »

A woman is in hospital following a serious assault in a Surrey home Monday. Surrey RCMP said the woman suffered head injuries from a beating that occurred in a residence in the 12800-block 100th Avenue just before 1:30 p.m. Photo by Shane MacKichan for The Province.

Woman in serious condition after being beaten in Surrey home

CHERYL CHAN VANCOUVER DESI A woman is in hospital following a serious assault in a Surrey home Monday. Surrey RCMP said the woman suffered head…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-BC

Raise your hand, send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

FILE PHOTO: A leopard walks with a tranquiliser dart in the residential area of Jyotikuchi in Guwahati, the capital city of the northeastern state of Assam on March 15, 2009. Three people were mauled by the leopard after the cat strayed into the city before it was tranquilised by forestry department officials. BIJU BORO/AFP/Getty Images

Leopard in India beaten to death by villagers after vicious attack

IANS Kolkata  – A young male leopard was beaten to death by a mob of angry villagers on Monday after it strayed into a West…
Continue Reading »

prv0122Nfashion01

Passion for fashion turned into day job for Surrey clothing designer

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Surrey’s Davi Bains-Gill never thought her love for fashion and design could be her livelihood. She pursued a career in social…
Continue Reading »

five hole main

Donated equipment from Vancouver on its way to hockey-mad northern India

KENT SPENCER VANCOUVER DESI The neat thing about a Canadian effort to donate hockey equipment to the Himalayas is that there is a lot of…
Continue Reading »

In this Tuesday, April 2, 2013 photo, foreign tourists walk on a street near the railway station in New Delhi, India. Violence against women, and the huge publicity generated by recent attacks here, is threatening India's $17.7 billion tourism industry. AP Photo /Manish Swarup

India wants female tourists to feel safe when they visit

NATALIE OBIKO PEARSON BLOOMBERG NEWS Don’t move alone, don’t go anywhere at midnight and don’t get into a vehicle without first taking a photo of…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

desi sex

Shah Rukh Khan says he “doesn’t deserve” any awards for Happy New Year

HINDUSTAN TIMES Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan has a shocking and honest confession to make – and it’s about award functions. The Chennai Express actor…
Continue Reading »

Indian Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan during the launch of the new Hindi general entertainment television channel '&TV' and its flagship show 'Poochega  Sabse Shaana Kaun' in Mumbai on January 21, 2015. STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Will Shah Rukh Khan be the new face for West Bengal tourism?

IANS Kolkata  – Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan is rumoured to be part of West Bengal’s upcoming ambitious tourism campaign,  according to a senior tourism department…
Continue Reading »

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the Siri Fort Auditorium, a government-run event center, in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. Obama gently nudged India Tuesday to fulfill its constitution's pledge to uphold the "dignity of the individual," drawing on his own experience as a minority in the United States as he closed out a three-day visit to New Delhi. AP Photo/Saurabh Das

Shah Rukh Khan on cloud nine after Obama shout out

IANS Mumbai  – Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is on cloud nine after U.S. President Barack Obama incorporated his famous Senorita dialogue in his address…
Continue Reading »