Visiting Sikh priest received 90 days in jail for sex assault

Published: October 17, 2013

GURPREET SINGH AND STEPHANIE IP  

FILE PHOTO: A visiting Sikh priest from India has been sentenced to prison after being convicted of sexual assault and sexual interference stemming from an incident involving a 13-year-old Abbotsford girl


VANCOUVER DESI 

A visiting Sikh priest from India has been sentenced to prison after being convicted of sexual assault and sexual interference stemming from an incident involving a 13-year-old Abbotsford girl.

Ajai Singh, the son of a former prominent Sikh figure, will now serve 90 days in jail, followed by 18 months probation. He had been visiting Canada earlier this year when the incident was first reported to police on Feb. 9.

The 38-year-old was charged in February this year on two counts; sexual assault and sexual interference with a person under the age of 16.

Singh’s father is the former head of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs, during the late 1990s.

Singh was also a hymn singer with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the highest religious body of the Sikhs. After news of the charges surfaced, the SGPC suspended Singh.

On Thursday, an Abbotsford judge sentenced Singh to jail. After serving his sentence in Canada, he will be deported.

The victim’s family told Vancouver Desi, on condition of anonymity, that they are satisfied with the verdict, although they wished for a longer sentence.

“Ninety days is not enough. I wanted to see at least one year,” said a male family member of the victim.

However, the man did say his family was relieved to hear the bittersweet news.

“We are dealing with it. It’s been very hard,” he said. “Finally, the judge has made a good decision.”

 

 

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