A woman believed dead after being pushed off a moving train in Uttar Pradesh with four minor daughters by her husband has appeared at her mother’s house in Bihar, adding yet another twist to a case testing the police.
Afreena Khatoon’s ‘back-from-the-dead’ appearance has left UP railway police with an additional case of an unidentified body and the circumstances of her death.
They have made little headway in this case even as they investigate the death of a seven-year-old child, who they believe is one of Afreena’s daughters, Muniya.
The account of a nine-year-old girl, Algun Khatoon, also believed to be Afreena’s daughter, guided the preliminary investigation. But Afreena’s account changed facts of the case, including the train they were in, police added.
Algun and two other girls believed to be her sisters survived the fall, but were injured. Algun even identified the dead woman as her mother, said police.
Algun initially said her father, Iddu Mian, pushed them off, but later claimed her uncle and his friend did it.
Police booked the children’s uncle and his friend in the case, but later ruled them out as suspects and focused on Iddu, 42.
According to Afreena, the children were not pushed off the Amritsar-Saharsa Express, as Algun led the police to believe, but from the Kamakhya-Katra Express.
She also said Iddu did not push her and their fifth daughter, their youngest, off the train, said police.
“Afreena Khatoon, 36, turned up at Jagdishpur police station in Bettiah (the administrative headquarters of West Champaran district) on Monday,” said Saumitra Yadav, superintendent of police, Government Railway Police, Lucknow.
Iddu’s village is under Jagdishpur police station limits. Yadav said Afreena was being brought to Uttar Pradesh to meet the three surviving girls thought to be her daughters and piece together the sequence of events.
Afreena’s mother identified her daughter and informed her local police station in Paharpur, about 10 km from Jagdishpur.
“Afreena’s mother said Iddu was drunk and he pushed off his daughters, one after another, from the running train,” said CB Shukla, station house officer of Paharpur police station.
“Afreena’s mother said Iddu fought with his wife over the lack of money and was reluctant to take his family to Jammu,” Shukla added.
“Afreena told her mother Iddu tried to throw their fifth daughter too, but she resisted. They reached Jammu, where he made Afreena and their fifth daughter board a Bihar-bound train,” said Shukla.
Police tracked Iddu’s phone location to Jammu a few days ago, but are yet to find him. According to his family, he left Bihar years ago and worked in Jammu.
Iddu came under pressure to shift his family and returned home after two years this Diwali to take them with him, police said.
Police also found that Iddu had another wife before Afreena. He had two sons with his first wife. One of the sons died as did his first wife, said police.