Mombasa: Did the 'devil' really kill British tourist whose body was exhumed two years after burial?
- Ms. Luftunisa Khandwalla, 44, had visited her husband's family in Mombasa in August 2019, but when she had planned to return to Leicester, U.K in 2020, the government imposed a COVID-19 lockdown.
- She died under mysterious conditions on August 2, 2020, and buried at Memon Cemetery the next day, without the presence of her family members, who reside in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It was reported that she was 'killed by the devil' as a religious leader was exorcising her.
In August 2019, Ms. Luftunisa Khandwalla visited her husband's family in the coastal city of Mombasa.
During her stay in Kenya, the British tourist would reportedly join a cult led by Arif Mohamed Iqbal, who is a self-confessed healer.
She was about to travel back to the U.K when the Government of Kenya imposed a lockdown (travel restriction) as one of the measures of containing the spread of then-novel Coronavirus.
Unfortunately, Ms. Khandwalla would meet her death in August 2, 2020, and would hurriedly be buried the next day at Memon Cemetery, at a time when details surrounding her death were scanty if not mysterious.
Mysterious death of British tourist
In fact, as her brother recalls in an affidavit filed at the Mombasa High Court, his in-laws told him that Ms. Khandwalla was killed by the "devil" as Iqbal tried to exorcise her.
But the brother - Imran Admani who resides in Tanzania - read mischief in the swiftness of his sister's burial, and the information surrounding her death was not adding up.
Apparently, no relative of the deceased was present during her burial, because at the time the nearest family members based in Dar-es-Salaam were to travel to Mombasa for the rite of passage on August 3, 2020, they were informed that the deceased had already been buried at 11am of the same day.
Consequently, he made a death report at Central Police Station on August 5, 2022, asking the police to investigate the mysterious death of her sister.
He implored the police to probe people who were with Ms. Khandwalla during his last times.
He also filed a petition at the Mombasa High Court, seeking the exhumation of the body of his sister.
"I am seeking an exhumation order, to perform an autopsy on the deceased to ascertain the cause of her mysterious sudden death and to help in further investigations," he told the court, through his lawyer Jacinta Wekesa.
The woman's family also want Iqbal - who court documents describe as a "liar and dangerous to vulnerable people" - investigated by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and to explain how the "devil" killed Ms. Khandwalla.
Court documents also describe Iqbal as a religious/spiritual leader and a seer who receives revelations from unnamed prophets.
Last week (October 17), the Mombasa High Court finally gave the greenlight for the exhumation of the body of the British citizen.
On Thursday, October 27, Senior Resident Magistrate Ritah Orora orders were effected when Ms. Khandwalla's body was exhumed two years after her burial.
A postmortem was done later that day and samples of toxicology and DNA extracted to ascertain the cause of death. As it stands, her death report says she died of a pulmonary cardiovascular.
Government pathologist Dr. Johansen Oduor led the exhumation, with police - led by OCS, Central Police Station - providing security exercise.
The court further issued an order requiring officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to be present at the grave site during exhumation.
The family presented by lawyer Wekesa, a private pathologist and officers from the DCI were also present.
- Advertisement -