Fugitive for 17 years, Punjabi-origin UK man found guilty of murder

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Oct 08, 2014 10:22 IST

A Punjabi-origin man who murdered another Punjabi in Hayes, west London, in 1996, lived a comfortable life in India and evaded capture for 17 years, has been found guilty of the murder and faces a long sentence in jail.

Kiranjit Uppal, 37, was found guilty at the Isleworth Crown Court on Monday of the murder of Harminder Singh Jhaghra in a group clash in February 1996.

Uppal had fled the UK in the days following Jhaghra’s murder but was arrested by the police on September 9, 2013, after disembarking from an inbound flight at Heathrow Airport from India. He will be sentenced on October 9.

Detective chief inspector Charles King from the homicide and major crime command said: “This has proved to be a challenging case due to the length of time that has passed. For almost 18 years, Uppal thought he had got away with murdering Jhaghra and had been living a relatively comfortable life in India.”

He added: “The events of that fateful day have left a profound effect on Jhaghra’s family. I would like to thank them for supporting us with this latest trial and I hope that today’s result provides them some measure of justice after such a considerable period of time.”

The court was told how a series of altercations on February 7, 1996, led to a clash between two groups from Cranford and Southall in west London, which resulted in Harminder’s death.

On February 12, 1996, Uppal went to the UK passport office, and three days later he boarded a flight on a one-way ticket bound for New Delhi, the police said.

Uppal was arrested and later charged in 2013 after detectives received information that he would be returning to the UK.

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