Cabbie held for murdering estranged wife in Chembur | Mumbai news

Mumbai: A 36-year-old taxi driver was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly stabbing his estranged wife to death when she refused to hand over their son to him. According to the Tilak Nagar police, the family of the victim has alleged that their relations were strained as the accused pressured her for following his religious customs as theirs was an interfaith marriage.

The incident occurred at around 10pm on Monday in the Pragati Rahul Nagar colony in Chembur. Police officials said the deceased, Rupali Chandanshive, (20), was sharing a room in the locality with two other women after separating from her husband, Iqbal Sheikh, (36), six months ago. Their two-year-old son Ali was living with her.

“Earlier in the day, Iqbal and Rupali argued over the phone when she refused to come back to him and asked for a divorce. He refused to divorce her and demanded that she hand over Ali to him. Rupali refused, saying she would not do so under any circumstances. Iqbal reached her house at around 10pm and assertively demanded the same. When she refused, Iqbal slashed her neck with a knife and fled,” said an officer with the Tilak Nagar police station.

Some neighbours informed her parents and elder sister, who sped to the spot. They called the police, and a police team rushed Rupali to Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar in a police vehicle. She was declared dead before admission to the hospital.

Multiple teams from the police station fanned out in the Chembur area, making inquiries with Iqbal’s family and friends, and finally, picked him up at around 2am on Tuesday.

In a statement recorded by the police following Rupali’s murder, her sister Karuna (22) said that Rupali and Iqbal had a love marriage three years ago and that problems erupted between them soon after marriage.

“After they got married, Iqbal and his family started pressuring Rupali to wear a burqa and follow traditional Islamic customs. This became grounds for constant arguments between the two, which ultimately led to their separation,” Karuna said in her statement to the police. HT has a copy of the statement.

Senior police inspector Sunil Kale, Tilak Nagar police station, confirmed that Karuna had made the allegations but said it was too early to comment as to whether this had a direct bearing on the murder.

“The sister of the deceased has made allegations about the deceased being forced to follow certain traditions by her in-laws, and we are investigating the same,” Kale said, adding, “Prima facie, the murder appears to have been committed because she refused to hand over her son to the accused. For now, we have arrested the accused and charged him with murder under the Indian Penal Code. Further investigations are underway.”

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