Surjit Athwal

Surjit Athwal, 28, UK.

Surjit Kaur Athwal sought to end an unhappy marriage by divorce. In 1998 her mother-in-law and husband took her to India under false pretences where she was killed. She had two children.  Her husband and mother in law have been convicted of her murder.  Surjit’s 70 year old mother-in-law Bachan Kaur Athwal was given a minimum of 20 years in prison, while her 43-year-old son and Surjit’s husband Sukhdave Athwal will not be eligible for parole for 27 years.

This landmark trial and sentencing was the result of more than eight years of constant, tireless campaigning by Surjit’s brother Jagdeesh Singh along with the excellent work of DCI Clive Driscoll and DC Palbinder Singh of Metropolitan Police, who led Surjit’s investigation and brought it to a successful criminal prosecution.

Judge Giles Forrester described the murder as “unspeakable”, saying: “This was a heinous crime characterised by great wickedness. “There was no motive worthy of the name. You did it because you thought she had brought shame on your family. “You decided that the so-called honour of your family was worth more than the life of this young woman.”


In the palm of her hands

Lay white flowers freshly picked

Along their morning dew,

Bathed in your name.

The nightingale tonight will sing,

The melody of the earth being just

For once.

Rain dances with the red earth,

For those who stood by your innocence.

For those who stood again the hate,

Who stood by you.


Honor is for those who stand unbroken in the name of justice.

It is for them , as for you…the earth rejoices.





Messages in “Surjit Athwal”

  1. Susen says:

    Im out of words!!!…Most of the honour killings are planned and worked out by mothers in law and husbands…..the worst part of this tragic act is, the parents of the woman will be convinced that their girl was a shame to the family…..the mother being a woman will have no say at home…Brothers in few families are the most dreaded ones!!!…I salute Jagdeesh ji for standing up for his sister….

    Surjith didi…you will always be remembered!!!!

  2. Veronica Sikand says:

    What I can never understand is how some women themselves raise their male children to believe that this kind of behaviour is ‘honourable”. And for the men who perpetrate these horrendous crimes, they are little better than animals and cannot be called human, let alone men! They are vile specimens and I woulnd’t spit on them if they were burning in the street!

    God bless Surjit and all her sisters who have suffered a similar fate.

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