A phone call changed Gurpreet Gill’s life.
Before it came one week ago, Gill was happily married, had a steady job and lived in a pretty Burlington house. Then the call turned his world upside down.
It was from a police officer in Punjab, India and he told Gill that four men had been arrested for his grandmother’s murder
earlier this year.
But it was what the police officer said next that shocked Gill. He said Gill’s wife of four years was suspected of hiring the hit men to kill him but they botched the job and ended up killing his grandmother.
Gill’s wife denies the allegations.
Gill, 25, a trucker, said he immediately moved out of the Burlington home.
Narinder Aujla, an inspector with the Punjab Police, said the alleged connection between the hit men and Gill’s wife became apparent soon after the arrests.
“They were promised about $35,000,”
Aujla said police have uncovered phone calls, text messages and money transfers between his wife and the arrested men.
Aujla said the investigation was still in early stages but he hopes to make contact with police in Canada in the next few days. He did not say if it would be the RCMP or the local police they would talk to. Aujla said his investigators would also go to Interpol if necessary.
Aujla also said police would be starting the process to have Gill’s wife declared a proclaimed offender, a status that includes alleged offenders who are out of the country.
Meanwhile, Gill, who now lives with an aunt in Caledon, said he can’t stop thinking about the night his grandmother was murdered.
“I saw her die,” said a teary Gill, who was in India getting treatment for a kidney infection.
It was a stormy night on April 13 in the village of Ladhar Kalan in Punjab. There was lightning, thunder and pouring rain.
At close to midnight, five or six men carrying guns scaled the wall surrounding his family home and called out his name, Gill said, adding that he was sleeping in an enclosed veranda and when he saw the armed men, he rushed inside to call neighbours. “I thought they were bandits and I asked neighbours to fire shots in the air so they would be scared off.”
While he was on the phone, Gill said his grandmother likely heard someone calling his name and went out to investigate.
Gill doesn’t know what she said to them, or what they said to her. All he knows is he heard gunshots — and when he ran out, she lay crumpled outside the door, blood all around.
“They had slashed her throat and then shot her,”
By then, the gunmen were gone, likely scared off by neighbours who fired shots into the air, he said.
Gill, who immigrated to Canada 12 years ago, said he got married four years ago. He and his wife dated for a bit and got married in Hamilton.
It was his wife’s second marriage, he said.