A Nepalese man living in India purportedly on fraud documents showing himself to be an Uttar Pradesh native, has been arrested for killing his second wife, with the help of his first.
A Hindu by birth, Shiva Vishwakarma converted to Islam and married Mohammad Yaseen eight years ago in Nepal. Yaseen’s partner-in-crime has been identified as his first wife Shahar Bano, also a Nepalese native, who he married a decade ago.
Documents of the police case so far continue to name Yaseen and Shiva as Uttar Pradesh natives based on their Aadhaar cards. When asked, the investigating officer said a team has been sent to the address mentioned on their Aadhaar cards to ascertain their identities.
Details Of The Police Case
The incident took place on 20 January. The first information report (FIR) was filed the same evening at Para police station of Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow district (number 33/2022). The complainant is Shiva’s brother Sharad Vishwakarma, identified in the FIR as son of Basant Bahadur and a resident of Nepal.
Sharad’s complaint to the police says that his sister Shiva met Yaseen, a resident of Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh, in Nepal’s Nepalganj city. Shiva changed her name to Zara Khan and married Yaseen. Sharad arrived in India a week ago for medical treatment. On 20 January, Shiva was scheduled to come to the hospital to see Sharad. When she did not show up, Sharad called her up but the calls went unanswered. After some time, Yaseen answered the call and told Sharad that Shiva was upset with Yaseen and it would take some time to pacify her.
Sharad reached Yaseen’s house where, after a scuffle with Shahar Bano, he found Shiva’s body wrapped in a blanket.
Swarajya’s Conversation With Victim’s Brother
When this correspondent talked to Sharad over a call on 23 January, he said that the police did not note down his statement in detail and hurried up with the formalities.
The next day, that is on 24 January, Sharad told this correspondent that he had just received a copy of the FIR and he is disappointed to learn that his statement has been carried with “many loopholes”.
Sharad is about 22 years of age and is the youngest and only brother of three sisters.
He narrated Shiva’s story: Shiva is the eldest of four siblings. The family hails from Nepal’s Gorahi area. When Sharad was in Class 10, Shiva began living and working in Nepalganj town, around three hours from Gorahi. Sharad’s father was no longer living with the family.
Yaseen was a property broker. His real name is Mohammad Isaaq, said Sharad.
Shiva began working in Yaseen’s office as a typist. Yaseen got involved with her family, occasionally helping them with money. Shiva would endearingly call him “bhaiya”, says Sharad.
Yaseen, who had different feelings for her, proposed marriage to Shiva. She took her time, but eventually agreed. Her mother too didn’t object to the alliance. They married as per Islamic rituals. Shiva adopted Sofiya as her name before the conversion-nikah ceremony.
Sharad said his family has kept no documents of this marriage as they did not find it necessary.
Weeks later, Shiva learnt that contrary to what Yaseen had told her — that he was divorced and had a son from his previous marriage — he was still married to his first wife. The couple began to fight over it.
Given her financially weak background, Shiva accepted her situation. To add to her woes, Yaseen also turned out to be a “womaniser” and was caught trying to lure Shiva’s younger sister into making sexual relations with him, says Sharad.
Six years ago, Yaseen landed himself in a crisis. A police case was filed against him for a property-related financial fraud. He made a plan to flee to India to escape arrest and trial.
Sharad says Yaseen arrived in India and got an Aadhaar card made using a fraudulent identity. With help of brokers who facilitate such illegal paperwork, he procured an Aadhaar card in the name of Mohammad Yaseen, showing himself to be a native of Bahraich district, which is near the Nepal border.
“An old couple from Bahraich was given money to pose as his parents,” reveals Sharad.
He says a similar Aadhaar card was made for his sister as well. She was given the name Zara Khan. “In Nepal, Shiva was never called by this name,” says Sharad.
He says that for six years, the couple kept shifting from one city to another. “They never stayed in Bahraich. Before Lucknow, they were in Nainital,” he says.
Shiva was unhappy with this arrangement. “I would talk to my sister regularly. She would sob and cry a lot over the phone, saying she did not want to live in India, that she wanted to return to Nepal,” says Sharad.
“She also complained to me that Yaseen had procured a country-made pistol, which he kept at home and often used for threatening Shiva.”
Nevertheless, the couple stayed on, fearing the police in Nepal. Over time, Shiva gave birth to a daughter. They named her Sara.
Sharad says he never visited India until 12 January 2022. “I came here for medical treatment. I had been recommended operation for kidney stones.”
Shahar Bano, who had been wanting to join her husband for years, sensed an opportunity in Sharad’s visit. While Sharad arrived in India on 12 January, Shahar Bano arrived three days later.
“Her two brothers accompanied her [to India]. After she managed to meet Yaseen, the brothers left for Nepal, leaving Shahar Bano and her son in the custody of Yaseen,” says Sharad.
Tension began brewing the day she arrived, he says.
“I had come on an assurance from Yaseen that he would partially pay for my surgery. But with Shahar Bano in the picture, that became a problem,” he says.
Sharad’s surgery took place a day after Shahar Bano arrived. Sharad was scheduled to leave for Nepal on 19 January. However, Yaseen failed to pay the amount of Rs 20,000 to the hospital in time. Sharad’s date of discharge from the hospital was pushed to the next day.
On 20 January, Sharad’s day was planned like this: Shiva would pack Sharad’s luggage and keep it in a corner of her house in old Kanshiram colony. She would then come to the hospital with money and a home-cooked meal. Sharad would clear the hospital dues and go to Shiva’s house late afternoon. He would pick up his bags and leave India. Even if he left at 5pm, he would reach Nepal at 11 pm the same day.
When Shiva did not come to hospital at noon as planned, and did not answer Sharad’s calls, he grew suspicious. When Yaseen showed up with food and money instead of Shiva, offering to clear the dues himself and drop Sharad at a stand, he grew more suspicious.
“Yaseen was constantly changing his statement about Shiva. From saying Shiva was upset, he began saying she had left somewhere without telling anyone,” he says.
Around 4pm, Sharad told Yaseen that he wanted to pick up his luggage from his house and leave for Nepal as he was tired. Yaseen allowed him to, assuring him that he would handle the hospital formalities.
“Yaseen promptly agreed. I went home and found Shahar Bano taking a stroll in the colony. It was unusual of her. She pointed to my packed luggage and asked me to pick it up and leave. Shiva’s daughter Sara was in her arms. I picked up the luggage, looked inside the house and found the room locked.”
Sharad asked her for the keys. Shahar Bano told him that Shiva had locked the room and left the house in anger, taking the keys with her. I requested Shahar Bano — ‘please don’t be offended, but I must break the lock and enter the room as some of my belongings are still inside’.
She stood still, but when I proceeded to do it, she pushed me to a side, screaming and telling me to go to Nepal,” Sharad says.
His suspicion growing, Sharad got up and reached the other end of the house. “I peeped into the window and found something wrapped in a blanket.”
Sharad rushed to the Para police station and shared his worst fears with them. “Two policemen arrived on the spot with me. They broke open the lock. They stood outside and asked me to go inside the room and check. I turned over the blanket. There, it had my sister’s body,” says Sharad.
The police proceeded with the formalities, taking the body in their custody and arranging for the post-mortem. Shahar Bano, says Sharad, was standing frozen.
“She did not run away. She was looking at us blankly, daughter Sara in her arms,” says Sharad.
Yaseen’s phone was switched off. When police reached the hospital, they did not find Yaseen. They learnt that he had not yet paid the dues.
What The Police Says
Investigating officer from Para police station, Dadhibal Tiwari, told this correspondent that a police team had been sent to Bahraich to ascertain the identities of Yaseen and Shiva. “We too have been told they are Nepal natives. We are waiting for a report from our team that has gone to Bahraich for investigation,” Tiwari, who is also station house officer (SHO) of Para police station, said.
When told about the allegations by Sharad that an old couple was bribed to give their names as parents of Yaseen, SHO Tiwari expressed surprise and said he would look into that angle as well.
“So far, we have recorded their identities as Bahraich natives. If it is found that Yaseen hails from Nepal and not Bahraich, we would tell that to the court. In that case, he would not be granted bail. Same goes for Shahar Bano,” the SHO said.
He said Shahar Bano has not produced any document of her identity so far.
Both Yaseen and Shahar Bano have been arrested for murder (IPC section 302), among other charges. “Yaseen was preparing to flee to Nepal. Our team found him near the border on the same [20 January] night,” he said.
SHO Tiwari further said that the autopsy report of Shiva has hinted at strangulation as the reason for Shiva’s death.
Shahar Bano’s son and Shiva’s daughter are both in state custody. A few days ago, Sharad gave an affidavit in a local court, stating himself as the sole guardian of the baby girl.
“I Always Feared This Fate For My Sister”
Exhausted and alone, Sharad says he is unable to plan his future move. After vacating Shiva’s house, he is currently lodged in a hotel. On 21 January, with the help of locals in Kanshiram colony, he cremated Shiva’s body. “My mother and sister came here from Nepal for the rites. They left for Nepal the same night,” he says.
Yaseen’s elder brother Iliyas accompanied the women. “Yaseen has six brothers. I don’t know if he has any sisters. Of all the brothers, Iliyas is the best. He cleared the hospital bill, helped vacate the house. Then he accompanied the women to Nepal,” says Sharad.
He says he is staying on for the police case. Sharad has recorded his statement before the local magistrate and appeared before police for further questioning. He has collected the FIR copy from Para police station.
On 24 January, he said he was still making rounds of the police station for Shiva’s autopsy report.
“I am stuck in Lucknow. I don’t know if I should go to Nepal immediately. What if Yaseen is let off by the court on bail? My own life is in danger from him,” he said.
Asked if he ever imagined Yaseen could take this extreme step, Sharad says he always feared this fate for her sister. “Yaseen was an aggressive man. He physically hurt my sister on many occasions. My sister could do nothing that he disapproved of. Yaseen’s first marriage was always an issue between the three. He must have done it at Shahar Bano’s behest,” he says.
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