POLICE have been unable to establish one clear motive from a possible five reasons why an Indian national was murdered at Monak in 2009, an inquest was told yesterday.
The inquest into the death of fruit picking contractor Pardeep Kumar being held at Wentworth Local Court was told the police investigation was complex from the outset after the man’s body was found in scrubland with his throat cut.
Under questioning from counsel assisting the coroner Dr Peggy Dwyer, Homicide Squad investigator Detective Senior Constable Arun Chopra said police explored a number of different theories, but each fell short of discovering a single positive conclusion.
Sen-Constable Chopra said some of the witnesses, including those who worked for or with Mr Kumar, were “not very forthcoming” with information or if details they provided investigators were not correct they were incomplete.
He said that while he was surprised that people who knew Mr Kumar would “hold back” on information, he believed those people were suspicious of police and did not want to draw the attention of immigration or taxation officials.
The witness said he volunteered to join the investigation as an Indian interpreter and to try to bridge cross-cultural difficulties.
However, he said the investigation became “quite complex” because of the number of witnesses involved, that witnesses struggled to comprehend police questions or that simple questions were made complex by the answers witnesses gave.
Sen-Constable Chopra said he travelled to the region each week from October, when Mr Kumar’s body was discovered in a drainage ditch, until December 2009 trying to unravel the matter.
He said police investigated possible murder theories including that a housemate or worker of Mr Kumar killed him for money, that he angered his workers because he ripped them off, or that a rival contractor killed him because the deceased man had undercut them in order to secure more work.
The policeman said another theory that the murder was an “honour killing” was also closely investigated.
The inquest has been told that Mr Kumar – a Hindu – had wanted to marry and had proposed to marry Sikh woman Amritpal Kaur who had rejected the offer.
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