Headless woman in Whampoa canal was killed by husband: Coroner

Police officers with the corpse found floating in Whampoa River on Dec 12, 2013.
Police officers with the corpse found floating in Whampoa River on Dec 12, 2013. PHOTO: NEW PAPER FILE

SINGAPORE - Upset that his wife was making a long-distance call to a person unknown to him, Harvinder Singh punched her while they fought and then left her lying on the bed.

He thought at first that she was unconscious and realised only later that she was dead.

A coroner's court found on Tuesday that Indian national Jasvinder Kaur, 33, had been murdered by her 35-year-old husband on Dec 11, 2013.

Ms Kaur's headless body was discovered floating in Whampoa River on the morning of Dec 12. Her corpse was wrapped in black trash bags with the legs exposed and the hands severed at the wrists.

Harvinder, a senior logistics coordinator, remains on the run. His friend, fellow Indian national Gursharan Singh, 27, was jailed for 30 months in April for helping him to get rid of Ms Kaur's body.

Gursharan, a forklift driver, had helped Harvinder carry a bag from the latter's residence at 228A Balestier Road to the canal near Mcnair Road.

He told the court that Harvinder had complained earlier about discovering his wife surreptitiously making a long distance call to India, which she ended abruptly when he approached her.

He said he was perplexed as he could not tell the gender of the person on the line, and that his wife had rapidly depleted the credit of a pre-paid mobile phone card within a day.

While he and Gursharan were moving the bag across an overhead bridge, one of its wheels broke and Gursharan rushed forward to steady it. He then grew suspicious at how heavy the bag was and demanded to know what was in it.

He said Harvinder then explained to him that he had fought that morning with Ms Kaur and punched her once on the neck. She had fallen onto the bed and he had left her there, thinking she was unconscious.

When he found her in the same position much later, he realised she was dead. He said he then decided to put her body in the bag and get rid of it, so as not to be liable.

Although he was now aware the luggage contained a human body, Gursharan helped Harvinder carry it to the canal. He also lifted it up onto his shoulders. Harvinder then told him to walk away. As Gursharan left, he heard a splash from the canal behind him.

Ms Kaur's employer told investigators that after the deceased failed to turn up for work as a beautician on Dec 11, Harvinder called to say that his wife was returning to India.

Harvinder fled to Malaysia the next morning. Investigations revealed that he later travelled back to India, where the authorities were unable to trace him. He is now on Interpol's wanted list.

The exact cause of Ms Kaur's death remains unknown as her head and hands were never found.

oliviaho@sph.com.sg