Airhostess likely killed by someone close to her: Police

By Shafiq Sharif

LAHORE: Someone close to the victim was involved in the brutal killing of the airhostess who was found dead in the storeroom of her house on Sunday, police investigators told Daily Times on Tuesday.

According to North Cantonment Police Station Investigation In-charge Anwar Cheema, the victim, Rakhshanda Iram, was living alone, after moving to Lahore from Daska in 1996, when after she joined the Pakistan International Airlines. He said that she had been married to one Afzal, who was also an employee at PIA. However, their marriage did not last and they divorced a couple of years ago, at which point Afzal moved and settled in Karachi, he said.

He also said that the friction between the couple that had increased when the victim went to court and demanded the return of valuables, she had taken to Afzal’s home after marrying him. The case is still in court awaiting a ruling. Anwar said that another man, Rana Faheem, a resident of Main Market Gulberg, had proposed to Rakhshanda after a minor affair, however, she had denied the proposal and did not contract any marriage with him. He added that according to the sisters and relatives of the deceased, she had been receiving death threats from unidentified persons. According to the police, the victim’s sister tried to contact her, but upon receiving no response, she visited Iram’s house and found the body inside a storeroom.

The sister contacted police officials, who upon reaching the scene, moved the body to the city morgue for autopsy and lodged a case.

Anwar said that according to initial investigations, the victim was killed at least two days before her body was found. He said that since there was no sign of forced entry, it was likely that someone close to the deceased had killed her. He also said that based on the signs of resistance and the position of the stab wounds, the killer was most likely working alone. He added that, according to the autopsy report, Rakhshanda died as a result of repeated stab wounds from a sharp weapon.

A police official, on condition of anonymity, said that the relatives of the deceased had nominated Afzal and Rana Faheem as prime suspects in the case, but they did not have the address of Rana Faheem because of which it was unlikely that he could be involved in the investigation. He said that Afzal was in Karachi and would be involved in the investigation. He also said that they had asked the mobile phone company concerned for the call record of the deceased in an attempt to find out whom she had been in contact with.

The brother of the deceased, Ehsanul Haq, told Daily Times that they had buried their sister in their native graveyard in Daska and were now following the case. He said that they had shown doubts about the suspects and were waiting for the police to trace the killer.

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