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Foul play in roof-fall death

The police on Friday claimed they have enough evidence to suggest that Nadira Niket Khatun, 19, was pushed off the fifth-floor terrace of Gulshan Apartment, in Elliot Lane, late on Thursday. Nadira died in the fall. Her brother, Tahid Alam, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that her husband, Mohammad Khadim, and in-laws had pushed her off the roof.

Khadim and Nadira were married about two years ago and have a five-month-old child. “After we spoke to the neighbours and interrogated Khadim’s relatives, it did appear that she had been pushed off the terrace,’’ said Prabir Das, officer-in-charge of Park Street police station.

“Khadim escaped before our officers reached the spot. We arrested his brothers, Hasrukh Hussein and Tanjim Hussein, his mother Gulshan Bibi and sister Sony Hussein. They were produced in court on Friday afternoon and remanded in judicial custody for two weeks,’’ added Das.

The police further alleged that Khadim had “illegally constructed” the five-storeyed Gulshan Apartment. “Neighbours told our officers that they had repeatedly complained to the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, but the authorities did not take any action against Khadim,’’ said Das.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Nadira’s husband was “a close friend” of crimelord Rashid Alam, alias Gabbar, and goon Vikas Gomes. “Gabbar and Vikas had rented an apartment in the building from Khadim. Gabbar often stayed there, entertained guests and planned his criminal operations prior to his arrest,’’ said an officer of Park Street police station.

Khadim’s Gabbar connection saw him emerge as a “local terror’’. He was arrested “four years ago” in connection with a murder case, said the Park Street officer-in-charge, adding that he was out on bail. Khadim had recently invested in the manufacture and distribution of leather purses.

Tahid claimed that his sister was not aware of Khadim’s criminal antecedents. “It was an arranged marriage and we never suspected Khadim to be involved in any illegal activities,’’ he said.

“She was physically and mentally tortured. We had seen bruises on her back and shoulders... Nadira would sometimes mention that her in-laws did not allow her to have proper food. There were times when she was forced to go without water as well,’’ alleged Tahid.

Police said Nadira’s body was handed over to her family on Friday morning. “We are waiting for the forensic report that should provide conclusive evidence of the cause of her death,’’ Das said.

A shroud of silence descended over Nadira’s parental home in Entally on Friday. Mohammad Amiruddin, a friend of the family, said: “She was so full of life that it is impossible to believe that she met such a horrible end.’’

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