Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir police on Monday arrested Mohammad Iqbal Khatana onn the charges of murdering his minor daughter in Zab-Khurhama area of Kupwara.
The girl’s body was found with the throat slit in a nearby shed on Wednesday, on 29 March evening.
As per the police statement, here is the sequence of events that lead to the murder of the minor girl are as under:
At around 4:15 pm, Mohammad Iqbal Khatana, a driver of passenger vehicle, reached home from daily work. Till 6 pm, he finished doing household work and splitting fire-wood.
At around 6:30 pm, Khatana got into a heated argument with his wife, Nageena Begum, with whom his relationship has been strained since last one year and the couple have often witnessed arguments that resulted in minor scuffles as well, as per the police.
After the argument, Khatana went to the kitchen, hid a kitchen-knife in his bosom, and left the house saying that he has to fix his punctured stepney tyre. He intended to kill himseld, the police claimed.
Uzma Iqbal, the minor daughter, followed her father and asked for 5 rupees. Iqbal gave her a 10 rupees note. Iqbal’s wife also followed him upto the courtyard, however, Uzma followed her father upto the main-road.
“Nageena Begum, Showket Khatna (Brother of Iqbal), Asif Khatana (Cousin of Iqbal) and Haji Salam Din Khatana (Uncle of Iqbal) had all witnessed Uzma following her father upto the main road, where from she was no-longer visible, due to line of sight obstruction as the main-road is on higher ground. All the people present were of the opinion that Uzma has left with her father, who has to fix his stepney tyre at Khurhama,” read the statement.
It added that Iqbal Khatana took Uzma in his vehicle, and reached Harden Road crossing, then to sewer through the link road and at 7:15 pm and reached Khurhama Bus-Stand, “where he halted till 8:10 pm, waiting for Isha azaan, so that the street gets de-peopled, making it convenient to kill himself”.
As people left for Taraweeh, he drove his vehicle further to Her-Khurhama near a transformer, where he halted the vehicle. “There, out of mental anguish due to domestic issues with his wife, he suffocated Uzma for around 2-3 minutes, as a result of which Uzma died on spot. The incident happened at at around 8:20 pm,” the police said in a statement.
With the dead-body of Uzma, Iqbal drove back to Harden Crossing. “He parked his vehicle to the side, and with the dead body of Uzma in his arms, he walked to the left towards Tin-Shed (Power-Project) and therefrom he stealthily reached the fire-wood shed next to his uncle’s house.”
“Iqbal placed the dead body in the fire-wood shed in supine position (chest facing upwards) and then using the knife he slit her throat, so that the inmates of the houses adjacent to the fire-wood shed are put to blame, saving his skin,” it read.
As per the statement, since the knife wasn’t quite sharp, and his hands were trembling out of fear and remorse, when he placed the knife on the throat and began to cut, it slide down and the throat was slit below the first mark. “Blood gushed out and its spatters got on his hands, sleeves and the bottom part of his pants, as he was in bent-position with the hands and legs close to the dead body, while carrying out the inhumane act of slitting the throat.”
It further added: “Iqbal left the crime scene, and then cleaned the knife and his hands in the stagnated water outside the fire-wood shed, next to the bathroom. Then he proceeded to the vehicle, and parked it at its usual location. Thereafter, he left for home, where he kept the knife back into the kitchen, and put on his Pheran. But on seeing him without Uzma, panic gripped the family and the family began searching for Uzma, and they also got three Masjids to announce the missing of Uzma over loud-speaker, at around 2115 hrs.”
Then Iqbal along with few other persons reached PP Khurhama in his vehicle to lodge missing report of Uzma.
The police after investigating the matter arrested Iqbal Khatana on Monday.—(Agencies)