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Body of wife exhumed as husband is held on suspicion of murder
Police have exhumed the body of a mum-of-four whose Bradford husband is being held in police custody in Pakistan on suspicion of her murder.
Rashid Ashraf is accused of killing his 31-year-old wife and staging a car crash to try to make it look like an accident.
Sara Rani’s body was being exhumed yesterday after her family raised concerns with police that her death was not accidental.
They are believed to have discovered marks on her body which suggest she had been beaten and strangled.
Ashraf, believed to be aged in his 30s, of Girlington, was arrested at the weekend in Muaffarabad alongside his uncle Aslam Chaudhry as police stepped up their inquiry.
The couple are believed to have a four-month-old child and Mrs Rani is said to have three other children from a previous relationship.
A source last night told the Telegraph & Argus that police were investigating allegations that Mrs Rani, also a Bradford resident, had been beaten to death and strangled on August 29.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has confirmed that Mrs Rani had died in Pakistan and arrests had been made.
A spokesman said: “We were notified of the death of a British national, Sarah Rani, in Pakistan on August 30.
“We are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time.”
It is understood that the alarm was raised after Mrs Rani’s body was returned to her family and that while they were bathing the body as part of an Islamic ritual, they spotted marks on her neck.
“The girl’s family raised the alarm and told police they suspected something else,” the source told the T&A.
“They said that if there was an accident, how did she get marks on her neck?
“One of the doctors who gave the death certificate also apparently had concerns but in Pakistan, unless the police asks for a post-mortem, there is not one done.”
He added: “After burial, police applied to the courts there to dig up the body and do a post-mortem.”
Mrs Rani is believed to have travelled from Bradford to Pakistan, via Dubai, arriving on August 27.
In Pakistan it has been reported that she was killed two days later near the Dina-Jhelum bypass road.
It is understood that her husband has been accused by police of deliberately damaging the car they were travelling in to try to explain the cause of his wife’s death.
Mrs Rani has been described as a naturalised British citizen, originally from Islamgarh, Mirpur, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), who had recently married Rashid Ashraf, also from Mirpuri and a naturalised British citizen.