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Indian couple among 3 charged with murdering Ranjodh Singh

world Updated: Jan 29, 2010 18:47 IST

An Indian couple were among three persons charged with murdering mutual friend Ranjodh Singh, who was stabbed multiple times and set ablaze while still alive, and denied bail during a court appearance in New South Wales province of Australia today.

Police yesterday arrested the couple, who were identified as 23-year-old Gurpreet Singh and his 20-year-old wife Harpreet Bhullar.

Both Gurpreet Singh, who was arrested at a Sydney car wash where he worked, and his wife were charged with murdering 25-year-old Ranjodh Singh, a fruit picker whose body was found half burnt beside Wilga Road at Willbriggie near Griffith on December 29 last year.

The couple faced Sutherland Local Court today and were formally refused bail by Magistrate Bernard Kennedy. A Punjabi interpreter will be arranged for their next court appearance, due on February 3, at Wagga Wagga Local Court.

Police arrested another man, aged 25, in Wagga Wagga today and later charged him with murder. The man, who was not identified, too is due in Wagga Local court on February 3.

New South Wales police Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch said all three accused knew Ranjodh Singh, ruling out race as a motive for the killing.

"We will allege that all three people that we've now detained over this matter were well acquainted with the victim, Singh, and were involved in the fruit picking industry in the Griffith area," Murdoch said.