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February 14, 2020

Remains of Karachi woman ‘kept in freezer for over 10 years’ found in Gulshan

Karachi

February 14, 2020

In a shocking incident, the police on Thursday found the skeletal remains of a woman whose body after her death was not buried by her children, who instead kept it in a freezer likely for around 10 to 12 years in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal area of the city.

The remains of the woman identified as Zakia Khatoon, a schoolteacher by profession who had died around 10 to 12 years ago, were discovered from a garbage dump in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Block 11 on Thursday.

After Zakia’s brother Mehboob was detected in CCTV footage that showed him covering the remains in a blanket, police arrested him. Police said he gave the blanket to his son and wife who drove off and dumped it outside the AGP office in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

The exact year of Zakia’s death is yet to be ascertained; however, police believe that she might have died 10 to 12 years ago. One of the speculations about the discovery of the remains is that Zakia’s son Qaiser Ayaz and daughter Shagufta Ayaz, alias Shabana, chose not to bury her after her death out of their love for her and kept the body in a freezer.

Both Qaiser and Shagufta are dead now. SHO Shahjahan Lashari said the son had died some four years ago and Shagufta passed away around 10 days ago. The officer added that the siblings, however, were not living at that apartment as some time after Zakia’s death, they had shifted to another place near Disco Bakery in Gulshan-e-Iqbal but they often came to visit the apartment.

Quoting the initial investigations, police said it appeared that after the recent death of Shagufta, Zakia’s brother Mehboob visited the apartment a couple of days ago where he found the remains.

“My nephew and niece had cut off relations with everyone, including relatives, neighbours and friends. Even I did not have any idea that my sister had passed away. I asked them [Qaiser and Shagufta] several times about her but they never gave me a proper answer,” police quoted Mehboob, who is around 70 years, as saying.

According to police, Mehboob told them that when he went inside, he found the remains on a mattress. The SHO said the remains had been sent for medico-legal formalities and Mehboob taken into custody. He added that the woman was around 50 years old when she died and her body was coated with chemicals before it was kept in the freezer.

The news also shocked the neighbours too who said Zakia was divorced and often fought with her children. They added that the siblings were paying the apartment’s dues although they had stopped living there some 10 years ago and they would tell everyone that their mother was ill.

A video statement of Mehboob has also gone viral on social media, in which he can be heard claiming that he did not know that his sister had died. The officer said police had registered a murder case on behalf of the state. Further investigations are under way