Body in suitcase: Family of Aligarh ‘victim’ under scanner
Police on Tuesday said that the family members of Warisha were under their scanner for wrongly identifying a body that was found stuffed in a suitcase in Ghaziabad on July 27.
On July 27, the police in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad found a woman’s body stuffed in a suitcase. They shared photographs on social media as part of an identification drive.
A man and his mother from Aligarh came forward. The elderly woman identified the victim as her 24-year-old daughter, Warisha, who goes by one name. They took the body to Aligarh, where the burial took place on July 29.
Warisha’s husband and in-laws were booked for dowry death and sent to jail for 14 days. However, even before the police could gloat at having cracked the case, there came a twist. On Monday, Warisha bumped into a police constable in Aligarh and narrated her story. Only then, the realisation dawned on the police. The woman in the suitcase was someone else; she is yet to be identified.
Officials from UP police said that the Ghaziabad police have now started investigations afresh in the case, even as the role of Warisha’s family is being investigated.
“Ghaziabad police are now trying to establish the identity of the woman whose body was found in the suitcase. The teams are searching Delhi-NCR and other police stations have also been informed to send information about women who have gone missing in the past few days. In the meantime, the statements of Warisha will be recorded before a magistrate. Her mother and brother, who identified the wrong dead body, are still under scanner and we are questioning them,” said Praveen Kumar, inspector general (Meerut range).
Officers from Ghaziabad police said that they have already registered a fresh case of murder and destruction of evidence to probe the killing and identity of the woman whose body was found in suitcase.
“Initially when we saw pictures of Warisha and the dead body of the woman, we found that there were a lot of similarities. About 70 to 80% of facial features matched,” Kumar added.
HT accessed a video in which Warisha’s family is seen identifying the dead body, even though a woman officer standing nearby seemed not so convinced about the identity. The hands of the dead woman were covered with Mehandi which seemed to have been applied afresh.
“There are no marks of bangles on her hand... Even there is no name of her husband (Amir) written on her hands. But you (pointing to Warisha’s mother) were saying that her husband’s name was written on her hand. There is no name written,” the woman officer is seen telling Warisha’s mother during the identification process in the video.
However, Warisha’s mother is seen repeatedly telling cops and others standing nearby that it was her daughter’s body.
“During the physical identification of the body, the family insisted that it was their daughter’s body although our officials were not so convinced. But we finally relented and went by what the family claimed. The entire sequence of events is being probed and if her family’s intention is found to be malafide, they will face legal action,” Kumar added.
The Bulandshahr police said that they dropped the charges of dowry death against her in-laws but other sections against them will remain as they allegedly harassed the woman for dowry and even beat her up.
Warisha’s family could not be contacted for a comment despite repeated attempts . A Delhi resident who wrote the dowry death complaint given to Bulandshahr police on behalf of her family also declined to speak about the incident.
“The woman will betaken for her CrPC 164 statements (statements before a magistrate) on Wednesday. Once she gives her statements, we will take up investigationz accordingly,” said Diksha Singh, circle officer (city), and the case investigating officer from Bulandshahr police.
The body of the unidentified woman is still buried in Aligarh and the Ghaziabad police said that it will be exhumed during the course of investigations. SSP Kalanidhi Naithani did not respond to repeated calls for a comment.
“Our teams are trying to trace her identity (of the dead woman). We will soon take a call for exhuming the body. Meanwhile the DNA and viscera of the woman is preserved and will aid in investigations,” said Manish Mishra, superintendent of police (city), Ghaziabad.