In a horrific incident, a Mumbai-based taxi driver killed his estranged wife over her refusal of following Islamic customs after her marriage. The incident was reported from Chembur in Mumbai and occurred earlier on Monday. The accused in the matter was identified as 36-year-old Iqbal Shaikh and the victim was identified as 20-year-old Rupali Chandanshive alias Zara

According to cops involved in the investigation of the case, Rupali, a Hindu woman, had married Iqbal back in 2019. She changed her name to Zara after her marriage and had a son with Iqbal in 2020. As per initial investigation, the victim’s family claimed that she lived separately from Iqbal because Iqbal’s family used to pressure her to wear burqa and follow other Islamic customs.

Frustrated with the ordeal, Rupali alias Zara was seeking a divorce from Iqbal and wanted a custody of the child as well. On Monday, Iqbal called and asked her to meet him to discuss about the divorce and custody.

On wee hours of Monday, the couple had an argument when they met at the P L Lokhande Marg, Chembur. The accused pulled out a knife and slit his wife’s throat and fled from the scene. Before she could be helped by doctors, she succumbed to her injuries.

The accused was arrested subsequently.

The Facts of the Matter

Hate-crimes in the guise of religious fervour and becoming more and more common lately. This is especially true in inter-caste marriages where several men and women become victims of senseless violence inflicted by a person blinded by religion and societal norms.

Killing Under Guise of Religion

A similar incident was reported from Mumbai, a melting-point of culture, known for its economic disparity.

In Mumbai’s Chembur, a taxi-driver allegedly stabbed his wife over her refusal to indulge into Islamic customs after her marriage. The accused, identified as 36-year-old Iqbal Shaikh, slit his wife Rupali alias Zara’s throat earlier on Monday morning.

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Victim was a Hindu Woman, Changed Name to ‘Zara’

As per reports, Iqbal had married Rupali Chandanshive, a Hindu woman, back in 2019. After her marriage, Rupali changed her marriage to Zara. However, this was not the only thing asked of her.

Allegedly, for the next two years, she was pressurized by her in-laws to wear burqa and follow other Islamic customs. Frustrated over the same, she had left Iqbal and took her child with her. She was also seeking a divorce and wanted custody of the son for herself.

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Argument Escalates, Accused Slits Wife’s Throat

Earlier on Monday, Iqbal called Zara to meet him at P L Lokhande Marg. Sometime around 2.20 am, Iqbal and Zara had another argument which escalated to a point of no return. Iqbal pulled out a knife and slit his wife’s throat, and fled the scene.

Before long, the accused was arrested under section 302 (punishment for murder) of the Indian Penal Code. It should be noted that this was Iqbal’s second marriage.

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Conflicting Reports on Motive of Murder

It should be noted that there are conflicting reports on what was the true motive of the crime. As per an NDTV report, the accused killed Rupali for seeking custody of the child. “They met around 10pm, and got into an argument over the child’s custody. He dragged her into an alley and stabbed her multiple times with a knife. She died on the spot,” the report quoted a police officer.

Meanwhile, there was another report by NDTV, which was shared two hours after the first report, wherein it was mentioned that the accused stabbed his wife over her refusal to wear burqa.


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