More than two months after the body of an NRI, who was into property dealing in the district, was found in Sawara village in Kharar on March 16 with multiple stab wounds, the police have booked his wife Pawandeep Kaur (35) for murder and arrested four men who had planned the crime, including the contract killer.
Police claim that Pawandeep, a mother of two staying in Toronto, had an estranged relationship with her husband, Jaskaran Singh (38) and also wanted to grab his property.
Police also claim she was also having an affair with two of the men involved in the murder. She had paid Rs 2.75 lakh to the killers and had promised another Rs 25 lakh.
The accused have been identified as Lakhbir Singh (32), the contract killer; Davinder Singh alias Prince (25), Bhawanpreet Bhangu (25) and Gurpreet Singh alias Soni (25). Davinder holds a bachelor’s degree in computer applications (BCA) and worked with the Nawanshahr district transport office, Bhawanpreet Bhangu from Ropar is also a BCA; Gurpreet is a BCA and is a bus conductor at Ropar.
Killer posed as property buyer
On the day of the murder, contract killer Lakhbir approached Jaskaran as a property buyer and the duo decided to go take a round. At a vacant plot near the Government Middle School, Jaskaran was stabbed repeatedly with a knife and the body was dumped in the fields. His body was later spotted around 4am by a woman passerby.
“Pawandeep conspired to kill Jaskaran as they had an estranged relationship and she also wanted his property. The couple jointly owns a house in Toronto where she is presently living,” said SAS Nagar senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar.
He added that Pawandeep was having an affair with Gurpreet Singh alias Soni since 2013 and later also developed intimate relations with Bhangu, who introduced her to contract killer Lakhbir Singh.
Money transfer, the major clue
Bhullar added that since the murder appeared to be the work of a professional, from Day 1, the police did suspect the hand of a family member in crime and had been monitoring Pawandeep.
“Pawandeep transferred Rs 2 lakh to Bhangu through Western Union that alerted us. Another Rs 75,000 was sent directly to the account of contract killer Lakhbir,” the SPP added.
Killer fled to Delhi
After the brutal murder, Lakhbir fled from the district to Delhi in the victim’s Swift Dzire that has been recovered from his possession. He had fitted a fake registration plate and kept on using the car.
Mastermind wife did attend cremation
In a brazen show of overconfidence, Pawandeep, along with her children, had even visited the Swara village to attend the last rites of Jaskaran. Even as the police investigation is on, she had returned to Canada on the plea that her children had their exams. In fact, the unsuspecting father of Jaskaran had requested the police to allow her to leave. “We did suspect her, but did not have evidence to nail her. She was thus allowed to leave. We will approach the Canadian embassy for her arrest,” the SSP added.
Murder convict on parole is the killer
Lakhbir is a double murder convict serving life term and came out on parole in 2012 from the Patiala Jail. He is a proclaimed offender and figures as accused in four other cases.