Karachi police suspect Sara Malik could have been murdered
Days after they fished out her body from the sea after an apparent suicide, Karachi’s police now suspect that a 22-year-old physical therapist cum receptionist working at an upscale pet care center in the city may have been murdered.
Preliminary investigations had suggested that the victim, identified as Sara Malik, daughter of Ibrar Ahmed, had allegedly committed suicide by jumping into the sea near Karachi’s Sea View beach on January 6.
After a two day search, her body was fished out of the sea on January.
Malik, who was earlier termed a doctor, was in fact a receptionist and therapist at RPK Critter Care and Animal Hospital located in the upscale Defence Housing Authority Phase-VI.
Police surgeon’s view
Speaking to SAMAA TV, Karachi Police Surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed said that the victim’s body was brought to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for autopsy on January 8 at around 12:30pm.
She added that a female medico-legal officer (MLO) performed the postmortem, and collected all the relevant samples, but unveiling cause of death has been withheld until all reports arrive and are duly analyzed.
The MLO observed that the body brought for autopsy was still ‘fresh’ although the police team apprised her that the body had been fished out two after a two-day search.
Based on the observations of the MLO, the police have started probing other possible aspects of the crime, including the possibility that she could have been murdered.
“Observations of the MLO have raised concerns,” South-Zone Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) Irfan Baloch told SAMAA TV.
According to the DIGP, the body of the victim looked fresh and the MLO was able to find some evidences on the corpse which suggested that she was murdered, and it was not a suicide.
Baloch said that the MLO collected the samples during autopsy and the reports are also indicative of their doubts.
Sana Malik was apparently murdered
Apart from digital evidence, oral evidence also suggest that Sana Malik might be murdered.
The DIG said that the victim was working at the veterinary center for the past two years, and that during her employment there, she had developed relations with her employer, Dr Shan Saleem.
Dr Saleem is currently in police custody.
Baloch claimed that Dr Saleem had allegedly sexually abused the victim. Things went awry when he allegedly developed similar relations with another employee, named Bisma.
The DIGP said that when Sana learnt that Dr Saleem was in another relationship, it caused her severe mental anguish.
On January 6, Sana caught Bisma in an objectionable condition in Dr Saleem’s room resulting in an altercation between them.
Baloch said Dr Saleem had discarded all evidence.
The hospital is secured by closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras but when a team from the Sahil police station reached there, they found that the footage recorded in the digital video recorder (DVR) had been deleted.
DIGP said police obtained footage from another CCTV camera installed at a separate facility near the center in which Sara could be seen leaving the premises in a rickshaw with Bisma on January 6 - the day when the victim went missing.
Asked how and when were they alerted to the victim jumping into the sea, he said that an unidentified citizen called on the police helpline to inform them that he had just seen a woman jump into the sea.
“The man who called on police helpline has been identified, and he is in police’s custody for interrogation,” he added.
Sahil police registered a case under sections 365 (abduction) and 34 (common intention) on the complaint of victim’s father Ibrar Ahmed against Dr Saleem and Bisma.
Sara was under mental stress
In her statement to police, Ahmed claimed that her daughter had been experiencing severe mental stress for the past month.
He told the police that Sara had apprised her mother about the relation between Dr Saleem and Bisma.
Ahmed claimed that on the day of her mysterious disappearance, Sara called her mother on her mobile and informed that she had had an altercation with her employer and colleague Bisma.
According to the victim’s father, his wife asked the deceased to leave the hospital and return home immediately, but she didn’t come back.