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Crimes that shook the nation: Murder akin to Agatha Christie mystery

15 Jan 2021 / 13:57 H.

FROM a security guard to an insurance agent and finally a successful businessman.

This was the rags-to-riches story of Marid Singh Peritam Singh when he became the managing director of a company which he would later own.

His company dealt in power generators and was involved in the oil and gas industry.

When his business began booming in the early 90s, Marid Singh, then in his 30s, went into a partnership with several other companies.

He built a sprawling double-storey bungalow in SS1, Kampung Tunku, Petaling Jaya, Selangor where he lived with his wife Sarjit Kaur Najar Singh, the couple’s three young children, Sarjit’s mother and two maids.

At the same time, Marid Singh also opened a pub in Kelana Jaya not far from his house.

Although he had grown by leaps and bounds financially, he never forgot his roots. He was known to be generous to the less fortunate and often gave out donations.

Just a year after he moved into his new house and bigger business prospects were on the way, tragedy struck in the wee hours of Oct 8, 1996 when Marid Singh, then aged 37, was found murdered in his bedroom.

Besides injuries on his face, his throat was slit.

His body was found on a blood-soaked bed by his wife at about 4am that day.

Police investigators swept the crime scene for clues and found no signs of a break-in or forced entry.

Although business rivalry was suspected, investigations showed that Marid Singh had no known enemies.

When investigators discounted robbery as the motive, they became suspicious that the killing was possibly the work of those close to the victim.

The case took a twist when Sarjit Kaur, a former nurse then aged 32, her mother and their maids were arrested days later.

When investigations were concluded and the older woman and maids were freed, Sarjit Kaur was charged with the murder of her husband at the Shah Alam High Court.

During the trial, the court heard of how the couple had met following a road accident and were smitten before getting married.

Although they were deeply in love, the couple were also frequently embroiled in heated arguments.

Sarjit Kaur told the court that she was caring for her mother at the time when she decided to check on her husband and found him dead.

The couple’s maid also testified that on an occasion, the couple had quarrelled after Marid Singh found a photograph of a man he suspected to be Sarjit Kaur’s boyfriend.

The maid claimed that before the row, Sarjit had shown her the photograph.

Police investigators who testified in the trial said they believed that Marid Singh was killed by someone known to him and who lived in the same house.

More than a year later in November 1997, the court acquitted and discharged Sarjit Kaur of killing her husband.

Describing the case as murder mystery like that from an Agatha Christie novel, High Court Judge Datuk Dr Visu Sinnadurai ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Following her freedom, Sarjit Kaur lodged a police report a day later urging police to pursue the case, alleging they did not carry out a fair and proper investigation.

The case remains unsolved till this day.

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