Sixteen years ago, the Bhat family from Habak area on Srinagar outskirts wished their daughter Afroza with blessings for a happy married life. But little did they know that fate had something else in store for her.
According to the family, Afroza was (allegedly) charred to death by her in-laws in Khrew area of south Kashmir's Pampore township, in April this year, rendering them in a state of shock.
Jehangir Ahmed, brother of Afroza (36) accused her in-laws of burning her to death.
"They told us that she received burn marks while trying to light a stove, but the room where the incident took place didn't indicate anything like that. How could she only receive burns and the room won't bear a single mark of burning," he told Greater Kashmir.
On 15th April, Jehangir said they received a call from Afroza's in-laws that she is seriously ill and has been rushed to SMHS hospital in Srinagar. "When we reached there, she had burn marks all over her body. Along with her in-laws, two policemen were accompanying her to the hospital. A doctor there told us that Afroza has very little chances of survival," he said.
He said "we tried to confirm her cause of death from doctors who categorically ruled out burning due to lighting of stove. She had severe burn injuries," he said.
Jahangir has many questions in mind. "Where were other family members at the time of the incident? Police has to look into all angles," he said.
Six days later, Afroza succumbed to her burn injuries at the hospital. She is survived by two sons, aged 10 and 8. Jehangir accused the police of inaction.
"Police is yet to record our statement. How come probe will be completed without our statement?" he asked.
He urged J&K's Director General of Police and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to ensure speedy justice to the family.
Taking to Greater Kashmir, S P Awantipora, Shridhar Patil said, "The statement of victim has been recorded by magistrate before her death. Law will take its course accordingly."