The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Harassed’ girl sent to Canada

Mohali, Aug. 13: Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered that Japneet Kaur Ghumman, a 16-year-old Canadian girl who was allegedly being harassed at home, be allowed to go back to Canada.

Japneet, who was a student of Yadvindra Public School, had apparently been forced by her parents to come to India in 2001.

She left for New Delhi today, accompanied by Bipasha Thukral, a senior official of the Canadian High Commission’s Chandigarh office.

The verdict was delivered by Justice Nirmal Singh yesterday on a habeas corpus petition filed by Japneet’s parents, Pushpinder Kaur Shahji and Jarnail Singh Ghumman, accusing the principal of Yadvindra Public School, Harish Dhillon, and vice-principal Komal of keeping her in illegal custody.

The petition also alleged Komal was trying to get Japneet to marry either her son or the principal’s son who stays abroad.

However, Japneet revealed that she had approached Dhillon and Komal for “help” soon after her admission to the school as her parents had been subjecting her to mental torture.

“They did not understand my problem. They sent me here to learn our culture. They would starve me back in Canada when I failed to understand the Punjabi letters. It has been continuing since the last 10 years. It has been sheer torture and physical and verbal abuse for me,” Japneet said after the verdict.

Japneet, a Class X student, had initially been admitted to Punjab Public School at Nabha but later shifted to Yadvindra Public School. She came to India with her mother, brother and sister. Her brother Amandeep studies at Punjab Public School and sister Navpreet is at St Xavier’s School in Chandigarh. Their father is a truck driver in Canada.

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