3 women among 6 of two families found dead in 2 houses at Tawi Vihar

A house where bodies were recovered at Tawi Vihar in Sidhra. — Excelsior/Rakesh
A house where bodies were recovered at Tawi Vihar in Sidhra. — Excelsior/Rakesh

Poison injected; injections, syringes seized

All died 3-4 days back, CCTVs switched off

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 17: Six persons of two families from Barzulla in Srinagar and Bhalla in Doda district of Jammu region died of poisoning in their houses at Tawi Vihar Colony in Sidhra on the outskirts of Jammu City under the jurisdiction of Nagrota Police Station today.
“An in-depth probe is on to find out whether they took the poison on their own or it was administered through meals or other means. Autopsy of the bodies is still going on in the Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu and things will be clear shortly,” SSP Jammu Chandan Kohli told the Excelsior.
One of the dead was Habibullah, around 40, a resident of Bhat House at Barzulla, Srinagar. He was a consultant.
Five other dead belonged to another family hailing from Bhalla in Doda district.
They include Sakina Begum, around 60, wife of Ghulam Hassan, her two daughters Naseema Akhter and Rubina Bano, physically challenged son Zafar Salim and 14-year-old-grandson Sajad Ahmed Magrey, a 10th class student.
The bodies of the victims, including three women, were recovered from two adjoining houses in the posh Tawi Vihar in Sidhra area around 1 am, police said, adding that prima facie, it appears that they were poisoned.
Preliminary investigations by police revealed that poison had been injected to all persons. Some injections and syringes used in injecting poison have been recovered from the houses.
Investigators indicated that going by condition of the bodies, it appeared that deaths took place 3-4 days back. Bodies were covered with polythene and strong ACs were kept on in the houses. CCTVs were switched off on August 9.
Noor Ul Habib, Sakina Begum, her daughter Naseema Akhter and grandson Sajad Ahmad Magrey were found dead inside Habib’s house. The bodies of Sakina’s other daughter Rubina Bano and son Zafar Salim were recovered from the nearby house, they said.
“A four-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Superintendent of Police (Rural) Sanjay Sharma has been formed to investigate the incident,” police said.
Other members of the team include SHO Nagrota Inspector Vishav Partap Singh and Incharge Sidhra Police Post Sub Inspector Majid Hussain.
A police spokesperson said a call was received from Habib’s sister Shahzada, a resident of Srinagar’s Barzulla locality, wherein she expressed apprehension that her brother might have committed suicide as he was not answering her calls.
After reaching Habib’s house, police found it bolted from inside and noticed a foul smell emanating from it. The doors of the house were broken down and four semi-decomposed bodies were found inside.
Local people informed police that the nearby house belonged to Sakina, a widow who originally hailed from Doda district and was living with her family.
When the police reached the other house, they found two more bodies there, the spokesman said, adding “Prima facie, it appears to be a case of poisoning. It is being ascertained whether it is a case of forced poisoning or the victims committed suicide.”
SSP Jammu Chandan Kohli also rushed to the spot and ordered a thorough probe into the incident.
The bodies have been shifted to Government Medical College and Hospital here for post-mortem examination, Kohli said.
Relatives of the deceased reached the hospital to identify the bodies.
“Habib was living in Jammu for the past nearly 10 years. He was helping Sakina who was trapped in several court cases related to family disputes,” Habib’s uncle said.
However, Sakina’s relatives accused Habib of not allowing them to meet her over the past four years.
“He (Habib) had completely controlled my mother and other siblings,” 17-year-old Sajjad Ahmad Magray’s mother, who was waiting outside the mortuary of Government Medical College, said.
She said Habib had also once attacked her when she had gone to meet her son, and accordingly she had registered a case against him.
Demanding a prompt investigation into the incident, she said there was no reason for all of them to take the extreme step.