Newspaper run by Indian Canadian bags journalism award

November 11th, 2008 - 3:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Vancouver, Nov 11 (IANS) The South Asian Post, a newspaper published by an Indian Canadian, has been awarded the Jack Webster Award for best community reporting for a story that led to the release of a man who was wrongly jailed on charges of rape.The 22nd annual Jack Webster Awards, recognizing the best in journalism in the province of British Columbia, were presented here Thursday.

“This is a momentous day,” said South Asian Post publisher Harbinder Singh Sewak. “Not only for our newspaper, but for the entire South Asian community.”

“This is a proud day for the community. Heartfelt congratulations,” said Indian Consul General in Vancouver Ashok Das.

The newspaper, launched in 2007, won the award for “The Innocent Man” - the story of Sukhwinder Singh, an Indian rickshaw driver who was wrongly imprisoned for rape for nearly four years.

Singh’s wife Jassi Kaur of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, was murdered in Punjab in the spring of 2000. She was allegedly killed at the behest of her family who disapproved of her marriage to the lowly rickshaw driver.

The South Asian Post followed the case and created a website (www.justiceforjassi.com) to provide a forum for people to express their anguish and indignation over the death of Jassi and the subsequent persecution of her husband, who was falsely accused of raping a girl.

Sewak also hired lawyers to dig into the case. After the South Asian Post raised questions about the relationship between the alleged rape victim’s father and one of Jassi’s uncles, the woman whose testimony sent Singh to prison was recanted in an affidavit filed in an Indian court. In May, Singh was freed from jail.

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