The stepmom of a 9-year-old girl, who was found naked in a bathtub with bruises on her body, has been charged with strangling the little one to death, according to the New York Police Department.
Ashdeep Kaur had recently moved to the United States from India to live with her father and his wife, 55-year-old Arjun Samdhi Pardas. However, according to the girl’s uncle Manjinder Singh, Ashdeep’s stepmom never quite warmed up to the young girl’s arrival, and beat her up on several occasions before the tragedy finally took place on Friday evening.
“She was not treating her really good,” Mandjinder Singh told New York Daily News, expressing regret at the fact that neither he nor the girl’s father took Ashdeep’s grievances seriously, who had informed them that Arjun used to beat her up in the father’s absence.
“The girl told me she got beat up by her. Twice she told me she grabbed her and threw her on the bed. I was not thinking she would kill her.”
Ashdeep used to live with her mother in India, but about three months ago, it was arranged for her to come to the United States to pursue a better education. She moved in with her father, Sukhjinder Singh, and his wife in the Richmond Hill neighborhood in Queens, New York, and was hoping to cope with the rigors of moving to a new country, but Arjun would not just let her be.
“Her father wanted her to be here, to stay in U.S.,” Manjinder Singh said. “There are better schools over here. Everything is good. She was doing good, learning English.”
Another relative, Shalanjit Singh, 21, told the New York Post that he could not believe that the young, bright girl was dead.
“She came here for a bright future, you know?” he said.
“She was going to go to school and everything. She didn’t deserve it. It’s heartbreaking. I still can’t believe that she’s gone.”
Ashdeep had been living with her uncle for the last few days, but he was asked by the father of the 9-year-old girl to drop her off at his house in Queens, where her stepmom was supposed to take care of her. But Manjinder, aware that the girl was not particularly fond of her stepmom, was not sure if he should take her to Arjun. The father insisted, and Manjinder had no option but to comply with his brother’s demands.
“She had been living with us two or three days, sleeping over… I shouldn’t have dropped her off. Her father said drop her home, and the second day, she’s dead.”
On Friday evening, Sukhjinder’s neighbor, who shares a flat with him including his bathroom, called to tell him that Arjun had taken his daughter inside and was taking far longer than necessary. Some time later, Arjun came out of the bathroom alone and left the house. She told the neighbor that the young girl was taking a shower.
When the neighbor went inside the bathroom hours later, she found the young girl lying dead in the bathtub with several bruises on her body.
Neighbor Nancy Fog said she could not believe that Arjun had killed a child.
“When I heard what happened, I couldn’t believe it,” she said, according to The Indian Express.
“Who’s gonna kill a baby? Who [has] the heart to kill a baby?”
Although the motive for the death remains unclear, the stepmom, who reportedly moved to the United States herself from Guyana, was not happy with the arrangement which saw Sukhjinder’s young daughter from another marriage come to live with them.
Arjun Samdhi Pardas was located in Queens and charged with the murder of the 9-year-old Ashdeep Kaur, police said. Walking out of the 102nd Police Precinct station house on Saturday evening, Arjun merely grimaced when asked about why she killed the 9-year-old girl, before leaving in the back of an unmarked police car.
[Photo by iStockPhoto]