Srinagar, Oct 21 (IANS) The Imam of a mosque here has been arrested for murdering a youth by pushing him in river Jhelum on the pretext of performing a sacred ritual in order to solve his strained relations with his spouse, police said Monday.
Giving details of the case, Srinagar's Senior Superintendent of Police S.A.H. Bukhari told reporters that on Sep 30, Noor Mohammad Khanday, a resident of Bund Qamarwari, had lodged a missing report at police post Qamarwari regarding his son-in-law Shah Nawaz Ahmad Dar.
"He reported that his son-in law went to the local mosque to offer prayers on Sep 29 and since then he had not returned to his in-laws home.
A search was begun and on Oct 3, a body, fished out from Jhelum River, was identified as that of Dar.
Bukhari said that a special team was set up to ascertain the cause of the suspicious death.
"From a pheran (Kashmiri garment) Dar was wearing, an identity card of Abdul Gani Naik who is working as Imam of Masjid Abu-Turab at Band Qamarwari was retrieved," he said, adding the garment was shown to Naik, who identified it as his own.
The SSP said that during the course of investigation, it came to fore that Dar and his wife had bitter relations, and the Imam used to visit the house of Dar's in-laws a number of times daily.
"The cellphone call details of the Imam and Dar's wife were analyzed and it was noticed that the Imam had been in constant touch with her during odd hours of the night for long time," he said.
"The Imam was put to sustained questioning and confessed that he had developed illicit relations with Dar's wife and Dar was a hindrance in their relations," said Bukhari, adding Naik took Dar to the Cement Bridge in Qamarwari and asked him to close his eyes and recite verses of the holy Quran.
As Dar did this, Naik pushed him from behind, making him fall in the river and drown, he added.