Vinoba Bhave (VB) Nagar police have booked Samajwadi Party (SP) councillor Ashraf Azmi in connection with a case of murder. Cops have arrested four persons so far, but Azmi is still on the run.
According to police, on February 13 Azmi, who represents ward no 158, informed police that Sana Khan (24) a housewife, who resided in the area had committed suicide by hanging herself in her MIG colony house at Kurla (West). Police rushed to the spot and found Sana’s body suspended from a ceiling fan. A case of accidental death was registered and investigations began.
The same day, the deceased’s mother Anjum Khan (65) was informed by Sana’s in-laws about the tragedy. Anjum, a resident of Hamidpur in Uttar Pradesh, rushed to Mumbai. But she and her associates refused to perform the last rites, claiming that Sana did not commit suicide, and she was, in fact, murdered. On Thursday, in her supplementary statement Anjum told police that on February 12 Sana was tortured by her in-laws. The victim had also phoned her brother in South Africa, saying that she was being tormented for Rs 10 lakh as dowry.
During a detailed probe police found that on the day of the death, the deceased’s husband Gayasuddin (31) had thrashed Sana in the bathroom where she fell and eventually succumbed to injuries. Scared, the family contacted Azmi, who allegedly went to the spot, fabricated the suicide, and then called the police. Azmi’s wife Dilshad is also a councillor, from ward no 159.
Smelling something fishy, BJP leader Anil Upadhyay contacted several top cops and narrated the entire story. He also warned that if the police fail to give justice to Sana’s family, he would organise a morcha. “The investigation officer was favouring Azmi. Following our demand, he was replaced. Later, police registered a murder case,” said Upadhayay.
On February 16, police arrested Gayasuddin Khan (31), his father Niyaz Khan (73), mother Aslam Khan (55) and brother Azam Khan (48). Aunt Sadia Kutubuddin Khan got anticipatory bail and Azmi is absconding. “We have registered an FIR under sections 302, 498 (a), 304 (b), 306, 201, 506, 34b of IPC and sections 3, 4, of Dowry Prohibition Act. We are searching for Azmi. He is absconding,” said an officer from VB Nagar police station.
The other side
On March 1, Azmi wrote a letter to VB Nagar police and also faxed a copy to MiD DAY. According to him, “Political rivals from my constituency tried to arraign me in a false case. They are trying to damage my reputation and image in the eyes of public at large. These rivals have also filed election petitions seeking that my poll results be set aside and I be disqualified.” Azmi has demanded police protection for himself and his family.