GURUGRAM: The principal of a private school in Pune was found dead on the first floor of her three-storey house in Sector 23 under mysterious circumstances on Saturday. Her husband alleged that she was hit on her head with an iron rod, though the post-mortem didn’t find any such injury on her body. He also claimed she was killed over a property dispute.
Police are tight-lipped on the probe, barring the hint that there are differences between the husband’s claim, made in his police complaint, and the post-mortem report. Possibility of poisoning could not be ruled out, said a police officer on condition of anonymity.
Savinder Kaur (52) had been teaching at school since 1988. She began her career as a teacher with a private school in Digboi, Assam, where she had pursued graduation in social studies.
In 1992, she moved to Gurugram. Between 1997 and 2015, she was the headmistress of the Montessori section of Salwan Public School, Sector 15, Gurugram.
In 2016, she moved to Singapore as a vice-principal of a private school. In January 2018, she moved back to India as principal of the Pune branch of the Singapore-based Global Indian International School (GIIS).
She was in Gurugram for summer vacations to spend time with her husband and son, who live in Gurugram. ASI Ashok Kumar of Palam Vihar police station said they received a call around 8.50pm on Saturday, informing that a woman was found dead on the first floor of a house in Sector 23. “We sent senior officials and the forensics team to collect fingerprints and other evidence from the crime scene,” said Kumar, adding they recorded the statements of Kaur’s husband and son too. On the basis of their complaint, a case was registered under sections 302 (murder) and 34 (common intention) of IPC at Palam Vihar police station.
In his complaint, husband Sukhbir Singh Rooprai (55), said he around 7.15pm on Saturday, as he was returning home from the Sector 23 market, received a call from his son, Pabsharan (27), asking him to return home as quickly as possible.
“My son said he had received a phone call from Savinder, in which she was crying for help, shouting, “Bachao, bachao, maar diya, maine balcony ki light jala di hai, wo balcony se bhag gaya (Help, help, he’s killing me, I just switched on the balcony light and can see he’s fleeing via the balcony),” said Rooprai.
He rushed back home, all the while calling his wife on her phone, which was switched off. “I reached home around 7.30pm and found the door locked from inside.
She never used to lock the door,” said Rooprai, adding he kept knocking at the door for 25 minutes without a response. Around 8.15pm, his son reached home from office and they tried breaking open the door. After around 35 minutes, they succeeded to break it open. “Entering the house, I found my wife unconscious on a sofa-cum-bed in the drawing room. She had injuries on her hand and two injury marks on her head, that looked to have been caused by an iron rod. She had no pulse,” said Rooprai, without clarifying what made them think of an iron rod in the first place as none was found on the spot.
Pabsharan said, “My mother was in pain and unable to speak more than a word at a time. She said the accused fled through the balcony. The call lasted for 23 seconds.” They also added police reached their home around 9.10pm.
The father alleged he is currently locked in a property dispute with his brother, whose legal battle is being fought in the high court and a Gurugram court.
The property involved includes the house in Sector 23. He alleged that his brother and his family are responsible for the murder. “My brother and his family used to abuse and threaten us,” alleged Rooprai. He alleged his brother had also stalked Savinder on Linkedin. Dr Deepak Mathur, forensic head of Civil Hospital, said post-mortem was conducted by a medical board, which didn’t find any head injury and said cause of death was unclear.
“There are minor injuries on her hand that could be from a scuffle, but none on the head,” said Dr Mathur, adding they had sent the viscera report to the forensics lab to check for poisoning. DCP (west) Sumer Singh said, “We’re investigating the case from all possible angles.” A senior police officer added, “The husband and the son submitted a written police complaint several hours after cops reached their home, and after a lot of discussions.”