Sikh-Canadian Woman From Mission, BC Was Murdered Over Money Shortly After She Reached Lahore, Say Police

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Rajvindar Kaur Gill, a distant relative of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, had gone to Pakistan to meet Hafiz Shahid Ghazanfar, who owed her money.

MISSION – Sikh-Canadian woman from Mission, BC was killed and her body dumped into a canal by a man who owed her money, the Pakistan police investigating her disappearance since last August informed a Lahore court this week.

Rajvindar Kaur Gill, a distant relative of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, had gone to Pakistan to meet Hafiz Shahzad Hussain, who owed her money.

The police told the court that they had written to the Interpol to seek the arrest of the main accused, a German of Pakistani-origin, who had since fled to Germany. The case was taken up by Sukhbir Badal with Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif during his visit here last year after Gill’s father sought his intervention.

Lahore police chief Aslam Tareen told the court that Gill was killed soon after she arrived in the city. He said the police had arrested a suspect, Hafiz Shahzad Hussain, who had confessed that he had killed Rajvindar along with his cousin Shahid Ghazanfar. Hussain said Ghazanfar and Rajvindar had known each other for long. He had borrowed money from Rajvindar and promised to repay her when she came to Lahore.

“Ghazanfar offered me money if I helped him kill Rajvindar. I agreed. On August 25, we received her in Lahore. She stayed in a hotel for a few days (and) we picked her up on the pretext of striking a diamond deal with a local businessman,” Hussain said.

“We drove her to Sheikhupura (located 40 km from Lahore). On the way, Ghazanfar gave her tea mixed with sedatives to make her lose consciousness and then strangled her with a rope. We dumped the body in a canal off the Lahore-Sheikhupura road,” Hussain said.

Gill, a 41-year-old involved in the jewellery business whose family is from British Columbia, travelled to Lahore in late August and was never heard from again until her murder was revealed this week.

Her father recently travelled from Mission, B.C., to Pakistan to press authorities publicly for answers after his efforts to do so from Canada stalled. His appeals for justice in Pakistan’s media and its courts yielded results after Badal met with his counterpart in Punjab, Pakistan and impressed upon authorities to move on the case.

Police say Ghazanfar is a German citizen of Pakistani heritage who owed Gill a sizable debt. They alleged that the men were taking Gill to a diamond exhibition before she was killed and her body tossed into a canal.

The police also told the court that they had written to Interpol to seek the arrest of the main accused in the case, who fled to Germany.

“The main accused, Shahid Ghazanfar, has fled to Germany and we have written to Interpol for his arrest,” Tareen said.

Police are yet to trace Gill’s body though a search is being conducted on basis of information provided by Hussain.

With tears in his eyes, the father Sikandar Gill later told outside the courtroom that he wanted justice from the Pakistani court.

“I will not return (to Canada) unless the body of my daughter is recovered,” he said.

Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, who is hearing the case, adjourned proceedings till Monday and directed Tareen to file the challan or chargesheet for the crime.

Her father had earlier said Rajvindar had moved from Canada to Switzerland after she got a job in a bank in Zurich, where she had met the main accused.

In his confessional statement to police, Hussain said his cousin Ghazanfar and Rajvindar had known each other for a long time.

Ghazanfar also hid his real identity from Rajvindar and had told her that he was a Hindu, Hussain said in his confession.

Gill is the latest in a series of mysterious disappearances of Canadian citizens in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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