Chandigarh: The news of the killing of a Sikh family after their kidnapping in California that reached here was received with shock and gloom in Punjab on Thursday morning.
It may be recalled that the bodies of Jasdeep Singh, 36, his wife Jasleen Kaur, 27, their eight-month old daughter Aroohi, and Jasdeep’s brother Amandeep Singh, 39, who were kidnapped from their newly-opened trucking business in Merced County, California, on Monday, were found in an orchard near Indiana Road and Hutchinson Road on Wednesday evening.
As the news pertaining to the killing of the family reached Jasdeep’s native village of Harsi, district Hoshiarpur, on Thursday, a large number of people and relatives from nearby villages and towns rushed to the house of his parents – Randhir Singh and Kirpal Kaur – to condole the deaths, though they did not find the two as they had already left for the US after learning about the family’s kidnapping on Tuesday.
Jasdeep’s parents, who had retired from the health and education departments, respectively, had already left for the US, said Simran Singh, village sarpanch, adding that a wave of grief and shock had swept the village and the adjoining towns after the news of the family’s murder reached here.
According to information available here, Jasdeep’s parents were also based in the US and had recently returned to India for a religious trip to Uttarakhand.
Condemning the deaths, the villagers also said that it was shocking to see that such a crime could also happen in the US.
A pall of gloom had also gripped Jasleen Kaur’s native village of Jandir in the nearby district of Jalandhar. Her relatives said it was devastating news for the family and her parents—Gurnam Singh and Gurmeet Kaur—were inconsolable after they learnt about the deaths.
Meanwhile, reports said that the California police had arrested one suspect, identified as Jesus Manuel Salado, 48, after he had used the ATM card of one of the victims. Salgado attempted suicide, and he was hospitalised, reports said.
CM Requests a Thorough Probe from MEA
Meanwhile, the Union minister and Hoshiarpur MP, Som Parkash, condoled the killings and said the Centre would provide all necessary support to the bereaved family.
The Punjab chief minister, Bhagwant Mann, sought the intervention of the Union External Affairs (MEA) minister to impress upon the US government to conduct a thorough probe into the gruesome murder of a Punjabi family in California.
The chief minister said that this was a highly condemnable incident which has shocked everyone, especially the Punjabis living across the globe. Mann said that this brutal murder raised questions about the security of Punjabis even in advanced nations like the US. He stated that it is critical to instil a sense of security among Punjabis living abroad.
It is pertinent to mention here that a very large number of people from Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, and Nawanshahr (Doaba region – also known as the NRI belt) of Punjab have settled abroad – especially in Canada and the UK, besides Australia and the US – for decades.