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Butchered for Love

A Book by Jupinderjit Singh

Sonia Chauhan reviews the book

Beyond True Crime: Butchered for Love


In the world of literature, a writer’s prowess is gauged by the artistry of their articulation. But there is some raw power in saying it like it happens. Only a handful of writers grip the dagger of truth from its sharp end. Investigative journalist, Jupinderjit Singh, is one such author.


Butchered for Love is his fifth book, a memoir-style account of doomed real-life lovers Jaswinder Kaur and Sukhbinder Singh (Jassi and Mithu) who paid the ultimate price for the what’s hailed as the only worthwhile task of sentient souls – choosing love.


Canadian born Jassi was riveted by Mithu on her visit to her native village Kaunke Kalan, near Jagrao. Mithu was a kabaddi player who rotated the Mugdar first thing every morning and then polished off two glasses of turmeric milk before breakfast. Attraction turned into love and soon, they were inseparable. But Jassi was the daughter of the landed, upstate family of the Badeshas that spread across continents. Mithu was a poor farmer’s son. It’s no surprise that the Badeshas were unhappy with their daughter’s choice. They took Jassi back to Canada. Thus, began the battle of wills between Jassi and her mother and maternal uncle.


‘Butchered For Love’ is written from the perspective of multiple characters: Mithu, who rots in prison as I write this review from a cozy café; Mithu’s mother who sits on a cot in her front yard and stares at the huge walls of the Badesha fortress as she awaits her son’s return; and various police officials – Detective Swaran Singh who investigated the murderous attack, and the Superindent of Police KD Kaur who travelled to Canada to arrest Jassi’s murderers.


Singh’s own voice is also in there. He’s the one who has followed the case for two decades, visited and supported Mithu to navigate through the maze of false cases that have been filed against him. Many of these cases continue till date. 


Singh narrates Jassi and Mithu’s love with a special sensitivity. We sit in drawing rooms and wander across cloth markets watching Jassi and Mithu’s world coincide and their families collide. In a chilling turn of events, Jassi’s mother Malkiat Kaur and her brother Surjit Singh Badesha hire contract killers – eleven of them – to finish off the pair.


The brutality of their wounds is heinous. Singh’s pen must have quaked as he listed them but he has persevered with remarkable stoicism and brought out the viciousness of the killing without any mincing of words. That is the prowess of an investigative journalist – to shake the reader out of their daily rigmarole and forge kinship with an innocent dead girl.


I look up from my laptop and watch people order their cappuccinos but inside my mind, police officials pull Jassi’s dehumanized body out of a pond at village Sangowal.


Singh writes:


“There was hardly a kind of injury in the medical books that wasn’t found on Mithu’s body. Deep cuts, abrasions, lacerations, hematomas, broken bones, sprains, strains, and his skull split into two parts…”


“Even if you had the hardest heart in the World, you would tremble at the marks on Jassi’s body.”


The love letters exchanged between Jassi and Mithu tug at and twist the reader’s heart at the same time. Jassi writes with unabashed clarity. She is purely his and she dies chasing her dream. Now, he lives and fights for her memory and to bring her justice.


Jassi last words to her mother were, “I will never forgive you.”


My hope is that the judicial system doesn’t, either.  

About the Author

Jupinderjit Singh

Jupinderjit Singh is an award-winning journalist, writer and author based in Chandigarh. He has authored three books viz. 'Justice for Jassi' 'Years Later...on Facebook', 'Bhagat Singh's Pistol and Ahimsa. He is a recipient of Prem Bhatia Young Journalist Award for his stories and research. He is a fellow with the Centre for Science and Environment on Forest Rights for the Tribals in Jammu and Kashmir.He is a FIDE-rated chess player and coach, motivational speaker & an amateur pianist.

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Sonia Chauhan is and editor and the author of two novellas, You Tell Me and This Maze of Mirrors. Her stories and book reviews have been published in various literary journals and anthologies. You can contact her at or follow her on Medium where she regularly publishes book reviews.

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