Srinagar, December 15:

A man allegedly killed his step-sister in cold blood on the day of her wedding in Saida Kadal area of Srinagar last month. Two cousins of the woman were also involved in the crime. All three were arrested, police said.

Initially, the murder was being passed off as a case of suicide.

The body of the woman identified as Shahnaza was found at her house on November 4. It was made to look that she had hung herself from the ceiling fan. “This was a cold-blooded murder which they had meticulously planned”, said a police officer.

The case, however, took a twist on November 13 when the Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar asked police to file a report and conducting a thorough investigation. The order was issued based on a petition filed by the victim’s fiancée Nasir Hussain Kawa, in which he said that he suspected foul play in the case.

Nasir also informed that this had happened on the day when he was supposed to get married to the victim.

Police formed a special investigating team to probe the case and found that the victim’s step-brother Shafi and her two cousins were involved in the murder. All three were arrrested, they said.

One of the accused, Wajid Gulzar Sultan, who is the cousin of the victim, confessed to his involvement in the crime. “During interrogation, Wajid revealed that he, along with Mohammad Shafi Sultan and sister Nighat Gulzar, hatched a conspiracy to eliminate Shahnaza as she has been their eyesore. Wajid and Nighat were related as nephew and niece to the deceased, while Shafi was stepbrother. Shafi is the main conspirator who motivated Wajid and Nighat to execute the crime,” police said in a statement.

On November 3, the trio had hatched a conspiracy to kill Shahnaza. “The victim used to wake up for fajr prayers. In the wee hours of November 4, when she was busy in prayers, Shafi along with Nighat and Wajid attacked the victim and smothered her till death. Then, they again strangulated her with a golden coloured cloth in order to ensure her death. Later, they tied the cloth with a ceiling fan to camouflage it as suicide,” said the police statement.

Police said that the motive of the murder was that Shafi, being the stepbrother, was not in a good relationship with the victim and used to harass her on one or the other pretext.

“Shafi wasn’t in good terms with Shahnaza. He also wanted to grab the piece of land and jewellery. For that purpose, he persuaded Wajid and Nighat to help him in killing her. He promised both of them of equal share out of it,” police said.

(Courtesy India Today)