UAE probe delays Sridevi’s final journey; a lesson for India where Jiah Khan’s ‘suicide’ and Divya Bharti’s death not probed in a similar manner

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Boney Kapoor called for testimony by the UAE Public Prosecution Department 

The Hush Post: There has been further delay in the release of actor Sridevi’s mortal remains by the UAE authorities. Although the death certificate has been issued, the embalming is to be done today. Moreover, the Dubai police has handed over the matter to the Public Prosecution Department, who will investigate it further and ensure the cause of the death due to natural circumstances and no foul play. In case of any suspicious foul play, prosecutors would carry out further detailed investigations and decide on any future law enforcement procedures accordingly, the chief prosecutor in Dubai told Gulf News.

Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor and the hospital staff were called for testimony in the case by the Dubai Public Prosecutor on Monday afternoon, which is considered regular procedure to verify cause of death. Her phone call details are being ascertained.

Moreover, the medical, forensic and police reports are delivered in Arabic language in UAE which has added more to the confusion regarding the cause of the death. The translated version too does not mention anything more than “accidental drawning” (with wrong spelling of ‘drowning’).

Certificate released by authorities in UAE giving the reason of her death.

Medical reports of different organs of the body take 2-3 days to be confirmed, and organ tests are done in case of clear medical reason not being known for the death of the concerned person. If the reports do not conclusively confirm a natural cause such as the reported heart attack, there will be further investigations which would mean even more delays for sending her body home, sources told Gulf News.

After a pro-active approach, Navdeep Suri, India’s ambassador to UAE, too finally tweeted on Monday night,” We are in regular contact with the family of #Sridevi and other well- wishers. We share their pain. Our experience in similar cases tells us that it does take 2-3 days to complete processes. We leave it to the experts to determine cause of demise Let’s be responsible”.

In the wake of Sridevi’s “accidental” death and the thorough probe being conducted by the concerned authorities in a foreign land, it is pertinent to raise the matter with the law enforcing agencies and the Indian state as to why such kind of detailing and step by step procedure is not followed up in each and every case in India. Why are guidelines bypassed, why are rules allowed to be broken for the privileged few? Difficult cases too are solved and followed up but we surely need to plug in the loopholes in our system to make it error-free.

Leave alone the common man, who keeps taking dates in lengthy court cases in Indian courts to get justice, in high-profile cases too, facts are sidelined and evidence tampered to save the skin of the mighty and the influential. Young actor Jiah Khan’s ‘suicide’ death is still being probed by the CBI five years after her death in 2013. In budding actress Divya Bharti’s case, who died on midnight of April 5, 1993 after mysterioulsly falling off from her fifth-floor balcony, police released her body on April 7, the funeral took place the same day and the police closed the investigation into her death in 1998. The circumstances of her death still remain a mystery. In the case of the suicide death of  famous ‘Ballika Vadhu” serial Pratyusha Banerjee in 2016, the police registered an “accidental death report” sidelining her mother’s allegations of  foul play.

May be because of the small size of the middle east state, less pressure of population and more resources, UAE is better managed than the Indian state, we sure need to take a lesson from their well-disciplined social set-up.

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