In his dying declaration, 52-year-old Basheer, a businessman from Kerala’s Malappuram district, told the police that an unknown person had barged into his house at night and poured acid on him.
Basheer’s wife Subaida corroborated this, saying that they had left the main door unlocked as they were expecting their son, who studies in Tamil Nadu, to return on the night of March 20.
However, an investigation by the Malappuram police failed to locate this “unknown” attacker that Basheer and his wife were referring to. Instead, they found that Subaida was the one who attacked her husband.
According to Malappuram police, who arrested Subaida on Sunday morning, she poured acid on Basheer’s face and body, allegedly because he was having an extramarital relationship.
Malappuram SI Binu told TNM that Subaida bought formic acid, which is readily available in hilly areas, from a fertilizer store in Manjeri in order to attack her husband. A driving instuctor, she has been charged with section 326 A (punishment for acid throwing) and 302 (murder) of the IPC.
Basheer, who sustained 45% burns in the attack and was admitted in the Kozhikode Medical College, passed away in the hospital on March 21.
How the police cracked the case
Though both Basheer and Subaida told the police that an unknown person had attacked Basheer, the police had several reasons to suspect that the duo were lying.
“The attack happened a little after 11 pm, but Basheer was taken to the hospital only at 2 am. The hospital is only 3-4 kms away from their house. The only two calls Subaida made after the attack was to her son and son-in-law. Neighbours did not hear any screams from the house. If an unknown person had barged in to attack Basheer, naturally there would be commotion. Another reason why we suspected Subaida’s involvement was because she herself didn’t have any injury. If their version was true, then Subaida would have touched her husband after the attack, not realising that the substance was acid. This means she should have sustained injuries on her palms, but this was not so,” SI Binu said.
According to the police, Subaida attacked Basheer with acid twice – once when he was lying down and again when he stood up. Later, Basheer drove his car up a slope outside their home to go to the hospital, but by then his eyesight had completely gone, police added.
“Following this, Subaida drove the car and took Basheer to the hospital,” the police said.
On Sunday, the police took Subaida for evidence collection. The acid bottle was recovered from a culvert near a hospital in Malappuram. Police believe that she threw the bottle into the culvert while passing it on the way to the hospital with Basheer.