When a 21-year-old woman’s partially burnt body was found at Palm Beach Road earlier this month, the police originally believed it was an honour killing by her parents.
However, the true story has turned out to be far more grotesque, with the police now revealing that it was the victim’s husband who murdered her on the suspicion that she was cheating on him or was involved in illegal activities.
Not only did he try to burn her body to prevent identification, he also attempted to mislead the police by a filing a missing person complaint before his escape. Ironically, this is one of the reasons the police began to suspect him eventually.
After the body was recovered from some bushes on Palm Beach Road on January 4, cops were unable to find a matching missing person complaint and suspected an honour killing (‘Was brutal Palm Beach road murder an honour killing?’, mid-day, January 6).
However, on Monday, the police apprehended the victim’s husband in Uttar Pradesh, after which he confessed to killing her. The accused, Shahidali Vahidali Qureshi (31), was in a relationship with the deceased victim identified as Nagmabanu since six years.
Less than two months ago, they decided to get married, but did not follow the normal legal registration process. Sub-Inspector Suhas Patil from Turbhe police station said, “They just opted to sign a Rs 100 notary paper and considered themselves married.
However this process took place one and a half months ago, and since then, the deceased had been going out at night.” “The accused always asked Nagmabanu about it, due to which they always fought and he held a grudge against her.
He decided to kill Nagmabanu, and was prepared with a knife and a bottle full of petrol in his car,” added Patil. According to the accused’s statement, Nagmabanu would at times stay out all day and night, and when he would ask her about it, they would fight.
He began to suspect that she was either cheating on him or was involved in some illegal activity. He waited eight days for the right moment to kill her, and finally decided to do it on January 4. Before escaping, the accused even filed a missing complaint at the Deonar police station, said Senior Police Inspector Shekhar Bagde from Turbhe police station.
“Two weeks later, the parents also reported the case to the police station, and they were then sent to Turbhe to identify the body. We learnt that her husband was missing, and began looking for him,” added Bagde.
The accused was booked under Sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) of the Indian Penal Code and was remanded to police custody till February 2.