Sanam Hasan's corpse exhumed; all skeletal remains intact

Aug 06, 2016, 08:25 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

CBI officials and forensic experts recover the femur, the entire teeth set, nail clippings and hair from the scalp of Sanam Hasan; the samples will be sent to FSL, Hyderabad and Delhi

The mortal remains of fashion design and communication student Sanam Hasan, who died under mysterious circumstances four years ago, were finally exhumed from Versova kabrastan on Thursday afternoon amidst tight security.

Sanam Hasan
Sanam Hasan

The Kabrastan trust had initially refused permission for exhumation — despite a court order — citing their religious practice.

However, after the court documents were submitted to it and senior CBI officials intervened, the trust finally allowed the exhumation on Thursday.

The family of Sanam Hasan, whose mortal remains were exhumed on Thursday, outside the Versova kabrastan. Pic/Sameer Markande
The family of Sanam Hasan, whose mortal remains were exhumed on Thursday, outside the Versova kabrastan. Pic/Sameer Markande

Along with the CBI team, a forensic surgeon attached to the department of forensic medicine and toxicology, Grant Medical College, three forensic scientists from the DNA division of the Forensic Science Laboratory in Kalina and the tehsildar were present at the spot.

Seawater preserved them
A senior forensic expert told mid-day, “We were fortunate to get all of the skeletal remains intact inside the grave. We have collected the femur, the entire teeth set, nail clippings and hair from the scalp, which will be sent for DNA analysis to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Hyderabad and another set of samples to Delhi.”

Dental pulp tissues, which help ascertain DNA, and the marrow from the femur (thigh bone) remain intact for years after burial, said the expert. “Moreover, saline water from the adjacent sea has only done wonders in preserving them.”

Sanam’s parents, Layique Zia Hasan and Nagina Hasan, were intimated about the exhumation process only an hour before the process began. Only the father was allowed into the graveyard, to spot the grave.

He was not allowed to watch the procedure. Nagina was made to wait inside the kabrastan’s office.

Photographs and videos of the exhumation were taken to keep a record.

The kabrastan staff was instructed to restrict the entry of any outsider during the process.

Sanam died under mysterious circumstances at a birthday bash planned by her friends at a rented room in a posh residential apartment in Pune in October 2012. The case has witnessed a series of blunders, with botched up post-mortem examination and histopathology reports throwing up ridiculous findings of Sanam being male and suffering from ischemic heart disease, and of her DNA not matching that of her parents.

Post-exhumation forensic examination will allow the investigators to match the corpse’s DNA with that of the parents and, thereby, confirm if they are indeed Sanam’s mortal remains.

Closer to closure

Layique Zia Hasan, Sanam’s father
We were not sure if the mortal remains would remain intact after so many years. We are satisfied that the CBI could get everything they were looking for from the exhumation. We are hoping that the CBI would be able to find some positive leads in the case.

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