FOR THE last more than seven months, Gaurav Kumar, from Pipla village in western Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district, regularly called home, assuring family members that he was doing well in his job in Canada. All this while, he was in Chandigarh, according to Mohali Police, which arrested him on Thursday on charge of a double-murder.
His parents and brother in Pipla, less than 100 km from Noida, did not know about Gaurav’s arrest when The Sunday Express reached the village on Saturday. Shocked by news of the arrest, his mother Rajbala said Gaurav, whose father is a retired soldier, told her on the phone on Wednesday that he was returning home with Rs 13 lakh cash, and had promised to reclaim ancestral land his father had sold off to raise money to send him to Canada — a visit, it now turns out, that never fructified.
“He told me that he was coming in a car with his employer in the latter’s car…and that he would help us repay our loans. He also said he was going to marry his landlord’s daughter in Canada, and that he was finally going to be an NRI,” Rajbala said. According to Mohali Police, Gaurav had allegedly murdered senior Chandigarh journalist K J Singh and his mother Gurcharan Kaur at their residence in Mohali on September 22. He was arrested on Thursday while trying to drive off in Singh’s MUV.
On Saturday, Gaurav’s elder brother Bablu, who works with a transport company in Noida, said, “The last I saw him was on March 12 this year — when he went through the doors of the airport (apparently headed for Canada).” He said Gaurav wanted to join the Army after completing BA degree from Amar Singh College in Bulandshahr. His father Satvir Singh, a former soldier in Jat infantry regiment, told The Sunday Express that he paid more than Rs 85,000 to one Pintu, “who offers jobs to locals here”, to get Gaurav into the Army. “But my son met with an accident in 2013 and had fractures on both legs,” Satvir said. “We subsequently paid Rs 40,000 for a job in Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and tried to send him to Punjab,” Satvir said, but even that did not work out.
Bablu said that his brother one day claimed to have made contact with an agent and wanted to go work in Canada. “He required Rs 3.5 lakh for the job. My father sold his two-bigha land, two buffaloes and cows,” Bablu said. Sativir said he sold two bighas from his 10-bigha ancestral land to Dronvir Singh, the block pramukh from his village, for Rs 6 lakh. “It was painful to part with the land but then he was doing well for himself. He said he was working in two factories in double shifts…”
Mohali Police have said that Gaurav, 27, was staying on rent at Kajheri village in Chandigarh for the last few months – a time when he apparently called home regularly and reported that he was working in Canada. The police also said that an immigration company, with its office near K J Singh’s home, owed Gaurav Rs 50,000, and he had gone to collect that money on September 22. As the person concerned was not in office, Gaurav sat in a park nearby, where he had an altercation with Singh. He allegedly went to Singh’s house late that night and killed him, as also his mother, to avenge that humiliation, the police have said.