Lahore: Three years after a Canadian woman of Indian origin was murdered on a visit to Pakistan, police have told a court that they have failed to recover her body, even as the main accused in the case is still absconding.
Rajvinder Kaur Gill, 41, arrived in Lahore in August, 2012, from Canada on a trip reportedly in connection with her jewellery business. She went missing shortly afterwards. She was a distant relative of Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
The case could not be concluded as police failed to arrest the prime suspect or recover the victim’s body.
Her father, Sikandar Singh Gill, travelled from Canada to Pakistan in 2013 and petitioned the Lahore high court to help find his daughter. In January, 2013, police said Rajvinder was killed the day she arrived in Lahore.
Shahid, the main accused, on whose invitation she had come to Lahore, is still at large. His accomplice, Hafiz Shahzad, who confessed to killing her along with Shahid, is in jail.
Advocate Faisal Bajwa, counsel for her family, told the Express Tribune that eight of the 14 prosecution witnesses had recorded their statements so far.
He said statements of some defence witnesses would be recorded in next hearings.
“It appears from the pace of the proceedings that the trial may take another two years or so,” he said, adding that the victim’s father would also visit Lahore to give his statement.
“We got a couple of text messages from her on August 26 and 27 (2012). After that, we did not get anything,” said Sikandar Singh Gill.
Co-accused Shahzad told the police in his statement that Shahid a German citizen of Pakistani origin had invited Rajvinder to Lahore to take part in a diamond auction.
“Shahid and Gill had known each other for a long time. Shahid told her he would pay her the money he owed her when she visited Lahore,” he said.
He further said, “Shahid and I received Gill at the Lahore airport and drove her to Sheikhupura (some 40 km away) through the motorway. We had offered her tea laced with sedatives. When she fell unconscious, we strangled her using a rope and dumped her body in the Khanpur canal.”
He said Shahid had probably left for Germany after committing the crime.
Pakistani authorities have also made no efforts to contact the German embassy in this respect.
Police had recovered a laptop, a mobile phone, and a hair dryer that had belonged to Rajvinder from Shahzad.
Lahore police told the court that an effort had been made to recover the body from the canal where the accused dumped it, but to no avail.
Lahore additional district and sessions judge Sher Abbas Awan is holding the trial. The next hearing is scheduled for the middle of this month.