‘Foul Play’ Suspected In Married Woman’s Death


Srinagar: Family of the 43-year-old woman, Saika Shafi Wanchoo who died under mysterious circumstances last month, Wednesday accused her husband and in-laws of having poisoned her adding the authorities were trying to hush-up the case.

The family supported by many others appeared at the Press Enclave to while protesting against the ‘killing’ alleged that her husband, Sajid Hameed, wanted to marry some other woman and the deceased was a hurdle. The couple had no child in their 16-year married life.

“On May 15 Saika came to her mother’s at Chana Pora,” Kahkkashan Wanchoo, the deceased’s sister said. “She was absolutely normal with no medical problems. She left the house at 8.30 pm for her in-laws at Raj Bagh. At around 10 pm, she called up her nephew and had almost an hour-long conversation with him.”

“Suddenly at 1:00 am, her husband called up our mother and in a single sentence said that ‘she was dead’,” Kahkkashan said.

“What happened to this 43-year-old healthy young woman who had no illness,” the protesters questioned. 

“The body showed signs of poisoning,” family sources said. “Her husband had taken her to SMHS hospital but the doctor-on-duty had declared her ‘Dead on Arrival’.”

“The doctor after examining the body suspected foul play as there was blood coming out from the mouth accompanied by frothing. The body had turned blue and was swollen hinting to a typical poisoning case.”

“On May 16, an autopsy was carried by the CMO, Dr Urfaan Wani who questioned her husband and in laws about the cause of death. The doctor even yelled at them.”

An audio clip of the conversation with the doctor suggested that the deceased may have been poisoned.

The family accused the investigating agency of trying to hush-up the case. “If the doctor had hinted at poisoning, why wasn’t Ryles tube inserted or a gastric aspirate taken during the autopsy,” the family wondered. “Even a blood or a urine sample taken would have confirmed the cause of death.”

The family accused the hospital authorities of negligence and the investigating authorities of ‘shielding the killers’.  

Seeking personal intervention of Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, the family said the government should send the samples to credible laboratories outside the state.

“We do not trust the laboratories in Jammu & Kashmir, where it took more than 30 days to report the case. We want the samples to be sent outside the state, which should be kept highly confidential,” the family said.

Deceased’s husband, Sajid Hameed, however, refuted the allegations as baseless. 

He said on the fateful night Saika had argument with her niece who lives at former’s mother’s place. “After that telephonic conversation she initially complained of heart pain and subsequently died of heart attack.”


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