Pune Local

Pune Crime Files: Unraveling the Sensational Murder of a German Archaeologist in Koregaon Park

In a chilling tale that shook the peaceful city of Pune, a renowned German archaeologist, Gudrun Corvinus, met a gruesome end in her upscale residence in Koregaon Park. The murder sent shockwaves through the community, captivating the attention of both local residents and the authorities. This article delves into the perplexing case that unfolded, exploring the investigation, the key players, and the subsequent legal proceedings.

The Life and Travels of Gudrun Corvinus
Gudrun Corvinus, a globetrotting archaeologist, embarked on a journey that took her across the world before she arrived in Pune, India. Her extensive travels led her through captivating destinations such as Ethiopia, South Africa, and France. In 1961, Gudrun established a connection with Deccan College in Pune, where she began her work. During her time in Pune, she married a local scientist, but their union ended in separation after a few years. While Gudrun’s adventurous spirit and rich life experiences shaped her past, it was her untimely demise that etched her name into the annals of crime history.

A Shocking Discovery
The chilling events unfolded in January 2006, when Gudrun Corvinus fell victim to a brutal murder in her own residence. The police investigation revealed that Gudrun owned two apartments in Liberty Society, with one of them serving as her solitary abode while she sought to sell the other. Driven by the desire to finalize the sale, Gudrun had engaged several real estate agents. However, this seemingly ordinary transaction took a dark turn, casting a shadow of terror over Koregaon Park.

The Start of the Investigation
On December 30, 2005, Gudrun’s close friend, Dr. Farooq Wadia, grew concerned when he failed to receive any response to his phone calls. Alarmed by her uncharacteristic silence, he alerted the Pune City police on January 7, 2006. The subsequent visit to Gudrun’s apartment would forever haunt the investigating officers. What they discovered was a scene of horror—a decapitated body and signs of a violent struggle. The telephone wire had been severed, and a blood-stained cheque for Rs 20 lakh was found, indicating a possible motive of robbery.

The Gruesome Trail Unveiled
The investigation rapidly zeroed in on the real estate agents who had been in contact with Gudrun. One particular individual captured their attention—Iqlaque Fakir Mohammed Shaikh, a 26-year-old resident of New Mangalwar Peth. The breakthrough came when investigators noticed a suspicious bite mark on Iqlaque’s hands, which he failed to explain convincingly. The police also recovered a set of keys to Gudrun’s apartment, her computer, and other personal belongings from the accused.

A Sinister Motive Revealed
As the pieces of the puzzle fell into place, a chilling motive emerged. It became apparent that Iqlaque had committed the heinous act with the intention of seizing Gudrun’s valuable property. The police believed that Iqlaque had visited Gudrun’s residence on January 1, 2006, ostensibly to discuss the apartment deal. However, his true intentions soon surfaced—he brutally slit her throat, decapitated her, and concealed her head in a handbag, which he disposed of beneath the Mundhwa-Kharadi bridge.

Key Evidence and Legal Proceedings
The court proceedings hinged on the vital piece of evidence—the bite mark. Forensic examination conducted at Sassoon General Hospital confirmed that the mark aligned perfectly with Gudrun’s dental impressions, establishing her resistance to the attack. In January 2009, Iqlaque was found guilty by Sessions Court Judge B. D. Kapadnis, who sentenced him to life imprisonment for charges including murder (IPC section 302), causing disappearance of evidence (IPC section 201), and theft in dwelling (IPC section 380). His co-accused, Mohammed Shaikh, who was in possession of stolen property, was acquitted due to insufficient evidence.

The Twists and Turns
The shocking tale of Gudrun’s murder took another unexpected twist when, in May 2009, Iqlaque was granted parole for 14 days from Yerawada Central Jail. Subsequently, he managed to evade authorities by absconding with his family members. After a rigorous manhunt, the police eventually recaptured Iqlaque, and in 2015, the Bombay High Court upheld his life imprisonment sentence. Throughout the entire investigation, Senior Police Inspector Rajnish Nirmal played a pivotal role in bringing the perpetrator to justice, displaying unwavering dedication to solving this horrific crime.

The murder of Gudrun Corvinus, a German archaeologist with an insatiable thirst for exploration, shook the tranquility of Pune’s Koregaon Park. The investigation unraveled a tale of betrayal, greed, and a gruesome act that left an indelible mark on the collective memory of the city. As the judicial system delivered justice and Iqlaque Fakir Mohammed Shaikh faced the consequences of his actions, the legacy of Gudrun Corvinus will forever be remembered—a life tragically cut short, but not forgotten.

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