Indian lady doctor cleared of murder of husband, returns home

Investigations into the death of her husband turned into a trauma for the 36-year-old Shalini Chawla, a woman doctor from New Delhi, as she had to face detention, while nursing her days old baby.

Chawla's travails began when her husband Ashish Chawla died in sleep on January 31, and it was suspected that he had been poisoned by his wife, 'Saudi Gazette' reported.
But an initial medical report from King Khaled Hospital in Najran stated that the cause of death was "myocardial infarction" (or heart attack).

The report also certified that there was "no sign of any injury, crime, or fight".
But Saudi authorities apparently tipped off that the man had been murdered after he became a Muslim, detained the wife to conduct further investigations. The Indian lady doctor was detained with her then 34-day-old baby boy Vedant.

But even the second medical report from the Center for Toxicology and Forensics in Mecca also said the autopsy report did not confirm any poisoning, and yet the Indian doctor had to continue in detention.

She said, she had no idea who falsely informed the police that she had poisoned her husband. "I heard they were our colleagues  but I don't want to know about them."
Chawla said that her husband never discussed his intention to embrace Islam. But after his death, his friends revealed that he had become a Muslim.

"During my interrogation, I heard that my husband died the night before he was going to announce officially in the mosque his conversion to Islam. 

However, I did not find any proof of his conversion and his name is not registered in any Islamic center," she said.

As the lady doctor with young children remained languishing in detention, the Indian Consulate swung into action. And the Indian Consul General Sayeed Ahmed Baba met Amir of Najran on April 11 asking him that the case be closed and Shalini be allowed to go home.

The case was referred to headquarters of Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution in the capital Riyadh which ordered a third autopsy by an independent panel of doctors who confirmed it was a heart attack.

The Saudi authorities finally closed the case on December 3 clearing Shalini of all charges and allowing her to leave the country with her children and the body of her husband.
She left Jeddah for home with the body of her husband and told 'Saudi Gazette' that he will be buried in a Muslim cemetery.

"My late husband died as a Muslim and his funeral will be held as per the Islamic rituals in New Delhi," Dr Shalini was quoted as saying by the paper.

On her ordeal a tearful Shalini said, "It was a nightmare, but thank God I'm going back home after a year of misery. I don't know what I will do next. It was just my fate to go through all of these hardships. May no one face what I have gone through"

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