LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Wednesday ordered the police to complete investigation into the murder of Canadian Sikh woman Rajvinder Kaur Gill immediately after Capital Chief Police Officer Aslam Tareen disclosed that she was murdered immediately after she landed in Pakistan.
Rajvindar Kaur Gill, 41, who was a businesswoman from British Columbia dealing in gems, came to Pakistan on August 25 last year and went missing the same day.
The court during Wednesday’s hearing on the petition moved by her father Sikandar Singh seeking her recovery rejected the request of Superintendent of Police (SP) Ijaz Gilani for delaying the matter for about four days.
Advocate Aftab Bajwa, the counsel for the petitioner, produced press clippings before the court, stating that the woman was murdered on the day she arrived in Lahore while the police had also taken into custody an accused.
Justice Sardar Tariq Masood rejected the police’s plea to delay the proceedings after studying the clippings, and asked the SP to make sure the presence of the CCPO in the court within two hours. Following court’s strict notice, CCPO Muhammad Aslam Tareen, along with his ‘legal advisers,’ reached the court.
In his written reply to the court, Tareen admitted that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) on Tuesday handed over a man named Hafiz Shahzad Hussain to the City police.
The accused had confessed to the crime and recorded his statement in which he admitted that he, along with the main accused Shahid Ghazanfar, killed the Canadian Sikh woman after kidnapping her on August 25. Later, they dumped her body into the Khanpur canal in Sheikhupura district, the CCPO said.
He added Ghazanfar was on the run and had reached Germany and the police had initiated the process of his arrest through Interpol.
The CCPO’s reply said that the accused Ghazanfar had called the Sikh woman to Pakistan as there was some monetary dispute between the two. The reply disclosed that police minutely went trough the letter sent by the Canadian High Commission in Islamabad on September 27 which suggested that Kaur might have proceeded to Sargodha or Karachi to meet Iqbal Hussain, a television anchor.
According to the victim’s sister Rajwant, she must have met Hussain via an Indian matrimonial dating service Shadi.com, the reply pointed out.
The City police also produced two letters from the FIA and the IB regarding the travel history of Kaur. In the letters, the CCPO submitted that Kaur got the ‘business pleasure’ visa from Pakistan on August 18 claiming that she want to come to Pakistan for gem business and sightseeing. He said she reached Pakistan on August 23 via Dubai by Emirates Airlines. The police gave only two telephone numbers to the IB for their calls details during July 1 to July 31.
The judge directed the CCPO not to completely rely on the confessional statement of the accused. The judge said police should unearth the truth.
The CCPO undertook that police would register an FIR after receiving application from Sikandar Singh Gill, father of Kaur. A female official from Canadian High Commission also attended the court proceedings. The court will resume hearing on January 7.
Talking to newsmen after the court proceedings, Sikandar Singh mourned the death of his daughter and demanded her body.
Responding to a query, Singh said, “I don’t know whether adviser to interior ministry Rehman Malik, PPP leader Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, TV anchor Iqbal Hussain or anyone else is behind the murder of my daughter.”
Singh said he had produced calls record of Rajvindar and now it was the duty of the police to question all those to whom his daughter made calls before and after arriving Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Sarwar Road Police have registered a case on the complaint of the father of the woman.
Police have registered the FIR on the directions of the LHC after listening to the reply of the CCPO that they had arrested an accused who confessed to killing Rajvindar Kaur and later dumping her body in the Khanpur canal.
According to Sikandar Singh Gill, his daughter reached Lahore from Canada on August 25, carrying Canadian passport, cash, laptop, gold ornaments and other things of personal use. He said she was in contact with Shahid Ghazanfar alias Karishna Roy, Shehzad and others. He alleged that Shahid Ghazanfar and his accomplices kidnapped his daughter to get her money.
The woman was a distant relative of Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal who took up her case with Pakistani authorities during his visit to Lahore last year.
Rajvindar’s father, who served in the Indian Air Force , moved to Canada 14 years ago. His family, including Rajvindar, joined him in 2007.
(Courtesy of The News)