Toyah fugitive ‘living as a free man’

 

FUGITIVE Rajwinder Singh, wanted for questioning over the murder of Toyah Cordingley, is "living as a free man" in India, with Australian police yet to make a formal request to track him down, authorities say.

Rajwinder Singh reamins a person of interest in the murder of Toyah Cordingley.
Rajwinder Singh reamins a person of interest in the murder of Toyah Cordingley.

Indian officials and close family in his Punjabi home town told The Sunday Mail they were willing and ready to find justice for Toyah more than a year on from her killing.

But Queensland detectives are yet to make any official notification for help to locate the key person of interest in the 24-year-old's brutal slaying at a far north Queensland beach last October, Indian police say.

"We are here for justice,'' Inspector Harsandeep Singh of Punjab Police said. "Even if we see Rajwinder here, we cannot arrest him in absence of any order or request.

"There is no case against Rajwinder Singh in our police station. He is as clean as you and me. For us right now he is a law-abiding citizen of this country."

He said there had been no order from superior officers in Punjab Police, nor any request from other central investigation agencies to locate the wanted father-of-three.

"If Australian police requests us, why not?" he said.

"We will use all our available resources to track him."

In his home town of Amritsar, about 450km north of India's capital New Delhi, Mr Singh's extended family also confirmed no-one had come to their house to investigate Rajwinder Singh.

"No one from Indian police, Australian authorities or any other officer from administration have come up here to investigate Rajwinder Singh,'' said a close family member, who did not want to be named.

Toyah Cordingley was killed in broad daylight last year.
Toyah Cordingley was killed in broad daylight last year.

Queensland Police, asked by The Sunday Mail about the notoriously complex extradition process, declined to reveal if a request had gone to the Federal Attorney-General.

They also did not reply to questions as to whether the Australian Interpol National Central Bureau had been asked to assist in locating the wanted man.

"Police remain committed to ensuring justice for Toyah Cordingley and her family,'' a QPS spokesman said.

Operation Quebec Clarify, a dedicated team of detectives and support personnel, is investigating the murder of the pharmacy assistant, who was killed while walking her dog on the isolated beach in broad daylight on October 21 last year.

Her body was found with "visible and violent" injuries, partly buried in sand dunes, by her father the next morning.

Charanjit Singh, Assistant Sub Inspector of the local police station where Rajwinder Singh's family lives, said: "We should be officially made aware of the case, his possible location, then only we can investigate.''

Mr Singh fled the country the day after Toyah's body was found, leaving behind his wife, two young children, a baby and his full-time job at Innisfail Hospital.