Punjab woman’s killing by husband in Sydney ‘too well-planned’

  • None, Sydney
  • Updated: Nov 26, 2014 23:43 IST

The case of an Indian woman’s killing by her jilted NRI husband from Punjab is being heard in Australia and the police report indicates that the incident was so well-planned that it could be viewed as nothing but a premeditated act.

Sargun Raji’s killing by her estranged husband Avjit Singh — they had entered into an arranged marriage on July 24, 2011, at Amritsar in Punjab — had been so well-planned that it could not be described as a “crime of passion” but a “premeditated act by a selfish man”, a court here has heard.

A police summary of the case obtained by Fairfax Media and tendered to the coroner’s court revealed how an intervention order that Raji, 23, had taken out against taxi driver Avjit Singh failed to protect her, Sydney Morning Herald reported on Wednesday.

Singh, 31, had gone to Kmart in Campbellfield, a suburb of Melbourne, at about 2am on October 4, 2012, and bought a box cutter, a pair of gloves, a wrecking bar, a flexible gas lighter, a wood chisel, a riveter, bolt cutters, a four-piece knife set and a five-litre fuel can. He went to a BP service station and filled the can with petrol. He bought rope and masking tape.

Singh, who police claim may have been angry at Raji’s alleged extramarital affairs, broke into her Kew home in the morning. “After he gained entry he inflicted several injuries to Sargun (Raji) using one of the knives he bought,” the police summary said. “The attack was prolonged and has occurred through several rooms in the house.”

Singh cut Raji's throat before pouring petrol over her and setting her on fire. The house subsequently caught fire and police are uncertain as to whether Singh had been planning to kill himself or had been trapped in the fire.

He was found crying out for help under a bed and was dragged out of the burning house, but later died from extensive burns and smoke inhalation.

As the couple was preparing to travel to Australia in early 2012, the summary said that a boy named Gorbind had come to Singh’s home and showed them photos on his mobile phone of him and Raji kissing and hugging. Both had admitted to “having a sexual relationship”, the police summary said. Laer, the couple arrived in Melbourne in May 2012 and eventually had moved into a rental property in Fawkner.

The inquest before state coroner judge Ian Gray continues.

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