L-o-v-e that does not always spells LOVE!
Love, the most fascinating and beautiful emotion has given vent to some legendary stories like Romeo-Juliet, Heer-Ranjha, Laila-Majnu etc. These are old stories, but Jassi and Mitthu’s is a saga of modern love that failed to blossom. It is a story of a mother, who proved crueler than a killer and the story that defied the boundaries of money and social strata.
The story began when Jassi, a rich NRI from Canada came to India, to spend her holidays at her relative, Darshan Singh’s house at Jagraon, near Ludhiana in Punjab. One evening she went to watch a local Kabaddi match and this changed her life forever.
There she met Mitthu, a local Kabaddi player, and fell in love with him. Eventually, they started meeting as Mitthu lived close to Darshan Singh’s house.
Unaware of the fact that there was a huge social and financial difference between them, Jassi and Mitthu’s love blossomed. This was the beginning of their misfortune. Jassi was a rich NRI whereas Mitthu was an auto driver. Since love knows no boundaries and the same was the case with Jassi and Mitthu, they got married on March 1999 at a local Gurudwara. They also got their marriage registered with the marriage registrar’s office at Baba Bakla in Amritsar.
Mitthu’s family happily accepted the marriage. Jassi went back to Canada to convince her family about this marriage. But her mother and her uncle refused to accept this marriage citing the family’s position of pride. Jassi’s uncle wanted her to marry a rich businessman of Canada.
Jassi was forced to sign on an affidavit written in Punjabi. The affidavit read that Mitthu had raped her and married her forcefully. This affidavit was faxed to the Punjab police, which registered a case against Mitthu.
When Mithhu came to know about this, he started running to save himself from the clutches of police. In that situation only Jassi could have helped him. So, he called her in Canada and related the whole story. Jassi somehow managed to get her passport and reached Punjab immediately. Before the magistrate, she made her statement that she did not understand Punjabi and was forced to sign the affidavit by her mother and uncle.
On the basis of her statement, Mitthu was released and the case against him was also dismissed. Mitthu started to live happily with Jassi. But this happiness did not last long.
On the fateful night of June 8, 2000, when they were returning home in Ludhiana, some unidentified people attacked them. They almost killed Mitthu, and kidnapped Jassi, whose dead body was found the next day from a field.
The killers were convinced that Mitthu would die but fate had something else in store for him. He survived and was admitted to a hospital in a very critical condition. In the hospital, he came to know about Jassi’s murder and claimed her body for the last rites. But his trauma was not to end there.
Since the case involved the murder of an NRI, the police, under tremendous pressure, were desperately trying to find the killers of Jassi. An SIT comprising the then Sangrur DSP Rajbachan Singh Sandhu and Dhuri SHO Swarn Singh was formed to investigate the matter.
The SIT started the investigation. Since it was not getting any clues about the killers, it took out the details of calls that were made in that region on that night. This gave them a clue regarding the motive behind Jassi’s killing and also exposed her killers.
The story that unfolded was spine-chilling. Jassi’s mother and uncle, who considered the marriage to be a shame for their high-profile family, had conspired to kill both Jassi and Mitthu.
Jassi’s uncle had contacted one of his relatives, Darshan Singh, who lived in Malerkotla. Darshan contacted a local Inspector Joginder Singh, who had arranged a local goon Anil Singh to do the job. Anil Singh accepted the deal to kill both for Rs 25 lakh.
On June 8, 2000, Anil plotted to kidnap Jassi and took her to his farmhouse where she was made to talk to her mother. She asked for forgiveness but Jassi’s mother refused to do so. She directed Anil to kill her daughter and he did so.
Police came to know the whole story when they analysed the phone calls made when Jassi and Mitthu were attacked on June 8. As many as 147 phone calls were made from Canada, of which 3 were to Inspector Joginder Singh, 45 to Anil Singh and 89 to Darshan Singh. This was enough circumstantial evidence to nail these culprits.
The SIT arrested 11 persons including Inspector Joginder Singh, Darshan Singh and Anil Singh and charged them with Jassi’s murder. But, they were released on bail soon.
Meanwhile, a local girl charged Mitthu of raping her and filed a complaint to the local police in this regard. Mitthu was arrested and put behind bars. The girl, who charged Mitthu with rape, belonged to a very poor family. Her family was taken care of by a local businessman. Incidentally, that businessman was none other than Darshan Singh, who was a co-accused in Jassi’s killing.
The police and SIT did their best to bring the killers to justice. Finally, seven persons including Darshan Singh, Anil Singh and Inspector Joginder Singh were sentenced to life imprisonment. But Jassi’s mother and uncle are still free. Police is still trying to extradite them from Canada.
Jassi and her dream of a happy life with her beloved met with a tragic end. A film has been made on their love story. National and international media has covered their story extensively, but this has hardly made any difference to the life of Mitthu, who is still in jail waiting for justice.
Like all great love stories, this saga too had a sad ending. As the great philosopher Socrates puts it, “The hottest love has the coldest end”.
Adaptation by: Sharique N Siddiquie