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Pune crime files: How a bite mark helped police crack the sensational murder of a 72-year-old German archaeologist in Koregaon Park

She was a German archaeologist who had traveled the world, from Ethiopia to South Africa to France, before arriving in an Indian city known as a pensioner’s paradise: Pune.

Records show that after arriving in the country in 1961, this archaeologist, Gudrun Corvinus, became associated with Deccan College in Pune and married a Punean scientist, though the couple separated after a few years.

But that was not all that made Gudrun the subject of a historic police investigation. In January 2006, he was the victim of a brutal murder by a real estate agent at his residence in the exclusive Korea park area

According to police records, Gudrun owned two apartments at Liberty Society, was staying alone in one of them, and wanted to sell the other apartment. By the end of 2005, she had contacted some real estate agents to finalize the sale.

In the police files, Gudrun’s story begins here.

He Fist The city police were first alerted to the case by Gudrun’s friend Dr. Farooq Wadia, who told them that he had not responded to their phone calls since December 30, 2005. On January 7, 2006, When the police visited Gudrun’s apartment, they were met with a shocking sight: her headless body.

The police also discovered that the telephone cable to the apartment had been cut and found a bloodstained check worth Rs 20 lakhs. Days later, police investigators into the case, led by then-Inspector Mahendra Pardeshi of Bundgarden Police Station, found Gudrun’s head in the riverbed under the Mundhwa-Kharadi Bridge.

The investigation then turned to the estate agents who were contacted by Gudrun. Investigators soon zeroed in on one of the officers, Iqlaque Fakir Mohammed Shaikh (then 26), a resident of New Mangalwar Peth, who had visited Gudrun in December 2005. They also found a key indicator: a bite mark on the hands. from Iqlaque. They found that he could not explain the injury and felt that his behavior was suspicious.

The police also recovered from the defendant a bunch of keys to Gudrun’s apartment, her computer and other items belonging to her. The investigation found that the bloodstained check recovered from Gudrnu’s house was from a book issued in the name of Iqlaque.

The rest of the case is recorded in detail in police and court records.

According to the police, Iqlaque visited Gudrun’s house on 1 January 2006 to discuss the deal on the apartment. But then, she slit her throat with a sharp object, decapitated her head, stuffed her head in a bag and threw it under the Mundhwa-Kharadi bridge. Her plan was to cut her body into small pieces and dispose of the evidence, they said.

The investigation concluded that Iqlaque had killed Gudrun in an attempt to seize his property. He was arrested on January 8, 2008. The FIR TREE filed against him listed IPC sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing the disappearance of evidence) and 380 (burglary).

In court, records show, the bite mark was considered crucial evidence and police claimed Gudrun bit the defendant while resisting their attack. Forensic examination at Sassoon General Hospital had confirmed that the mark matched Gudrun’s dental impressions.

In January 2009, Sessions Court Judge BD Kapadnis found Iqlaque guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Co-defendant Mohammed Shaikh, from whom a stolen television was recovered, was acquitted for lack of evidence.

But the twists and turns in the case did not end here.

On May 28, 2009, Iqlaque was released from Yerawada Central Jail on probation for 14 days, which was later extended for another fortnight. He was supposed to report on June 26, but did not.

This led to a manhunt in which the police discovered that Iqlaque had escaped along with his family members, including his wife, three-year-old daughter and his mother Sairabi, who witnessed his parole.

The police eventually managed to catch Iqlaque again before the Mumbai High Court, in 2015, upheld the life sentence he had been awarded.

Senior Police Inspector Rajnish Nirmal, who is now attached to the criminal branch, was part of the investigation team that initially arrested Iqlaque a day after the murder came to light. “It was a brutal crime and a sad incident. The police team worked hard to arrest the defendant in a short time, and a thorough investigation led to his conviction,” Nirmal said. Iqlaque is currently being held in Yerawada prison.

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