After three days of investigation into the murder of 22-year-old Briton Sarah Elizabeth on a houseboat in Srinagar, her body was allowed to be flown out of the state for her hometown in the UK on Tuesday.
The body was handed over to two British embassy officials, who had arrived in the morning from New Delhi, by the state police department's crime branch. From Delhi, the body will be flown to the victim's native place Guernsey in the UK.
Sarah was killed in a pre-dawn knife attack on April 6 on a houseboat of her boyfriend Saeed Shoda, where she had been living for over a couple of months. A Dutch national, De-wit Richard, 43, is believed to be behind the stabbing. He, preliminary police report suggests, forcibly barged into the victim's room in the early hours and stabbed her to death. The police arrested Richard around 80 km south of Srinagar when he was trying to flee barefooted from the state.
Later, he admitted to the crime in the police custody. The police suspect Richard of "unbalanced mind". The police have contacted Richard's wife in the Netherlands, who confirmed her husband had a history of psychiatric problems.
Srinagar's Government Medical College head of forensic medicine Dr Farida Noor said Sarah had received 45 cuts in a physical fight, which might had continued for around an hour "in a brave fight". The victim, forensic report suggests, had "defence wounds" to her fingers, hands and arms.
The cause of death was haemorrhage. "Two of the wounds were fatal, one on her neck and the other pierced her lung," says the report. The police are trying to establish whether Sarah was raped before the stabbing or not. The psychopathic attitude of the accused can be gauged from the fact that there were sharp weapon marks on the victim's private parts.
Houseboat owner's wife Hafiza Shoda is demanding a stern punishment for the accused. "I want him hanged. How could anyone kill such a nice and lovely girl. She would call me mother," she said.