Janaki Fernandes / Mid-Day
Mumbai, Apr 20: The police stopped the funeral procession of three-year-old Mariam Saif, daughter of film director Faisal Saif (of Jigyaasa fame) last night, after the control room got word from an anonymous caller that she may not have died of natural causes.
The procession, which set off from Cadell road, Bandra, was halted just a few metres from the Marine Lines cemetery. However, the girl was finally buried at 7 am today, almost nine hours later, after the police admitted their information may have been wrong.
According to the officials from the Mahim police, who stopped the funeral procession, the control room received a call around 10 pm from a caller who said the girl, who he claimed was around 10 year old, had not died a natural death.
The control room in turn informed the Mahim police station, who took the body to JJ Hospital for a post-mortem.
“They told us they would have to conduct a post-mortem, even though we showed them the girl’s death certificate, signed by the family doctor. It said she had had a stomach infection for the past two months and had died of cardiac arrest,” said an angry Saif.
The family refused to let the police conduct the post-mortem, which then led to chaos in the hospital.
“Ideally, a post-mortem should have been conducted. As there was no death certificate from a government doctor, we had to take the body to hospital,” said Ankush Chinte from Mahim police station.
The police eventually gave in to mounting pressure from the crowd and released the girl’s body after a cursory examination.