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Identity tag in mystery death
- Arrested thrice for jewellery theft

The unconscious woman who was dumped in front of Medical College and Hospital by a taxi driver early on Monday and died hours later has been identified as Sonam Parveen.

Police said the woman, in her mid-30s, had been arrested thrice on theft charges, prompting her to move to Mumbai and then to Pune. She returned to the city early this year and worked in a “massage parlour”.

Sonam lived in a flat in Sheriff Lane, off Alimuddin Street, with her two daughters — aged seven and four years. She had left home around 10.30pm on Sunday, telling her daughters that she would meet a doctor.

“We had found a mobile phone on her and got in touch with the service provider for her address. Sonam’s brothers have identified the body, which will be handed over to the family on Wednesday after a post-mortem,” said an officer of Bowbazar police station.

“Sonam’s husband Babar Sheikh — she had not been living with him for some time — is not in town,” the officer added.

The woman was first arrested in October 2006 by a team from Tiljala police station on charges of stealing jewellery from a hotel on EM Bypass. After her release on bail, the Park Street police rounded her up on October 31, 2006, in connection with a theft at a jewellery shop.

She was arrested again a few days later by the Shakespeare Sarani police in connection with another theft.

The police suspect she had committed similar crimes in other cities, too.

One of Sonam’s six brothers is wanted in connection with a criminal case. The police said he was an associate of Gabbar, now in jail.

“After she left home on Sunday night, her elder daughter told us her mother was not keeping well and had gone to see a doctor,” said Mohammad Shahnawaz, a brother of Sonam.

“We learnt from the cops on Tuesday afternoon that she was dead. We will talk to the doctors on Wednesday, after the post-mortem, to find out the cause of the death... When we saw the body, there was blood in her nose. She had high blood pressure and probably died because of that,” Shahnawaz added.

He wondered why the taxi driver — yet to be identified — dumped the woman at the hospital gate and did not take her to the emergency ward. “She was left unattended for quite some time. Sonam would have survived had the driver admitted her to the hospital.”

A senior police officer said that when Sonam was first arrested, she had identified herself as Nisha Singh. “It was much later that we unearthed her true identity. Sonam was then living with a man — Manoj Singh, of Howrah — in a hotel on Free School Street.”

Sonam’s relatives said they are not aware of how she supported herself and her children after her return to the city.

“We had dialled some numbers found in Sonam’s cellphone, but none who took the call admitted that he or she knew the woman. May be it was because of her unsavoury reputation that people refused to acknowledge her,” said a police officer.

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