Bollywood diva Sridevi’s stepson Arjun Kapoor flew to Dubai today to be with his father Boney Kapoor as he wraps up formalities and takes the body home to Mumbai, the family said. The uncertainty over Sridevi’s sudden death has intensified with no clarity on when her body would be released and officials saying there was no change in the situation on the ground as far as the investigation was concerned.
The matter is with the Dubai Public Prosecution and would proceed only after a go-ahead from it, said officials. “Arjun has gone to Dubai this morning to be with his father at the hotel while the formalities are being wrapped up and to oversee the return journey,” said an official statement from the family in Mumbai. The Dubai Police said on its Twitter handle yesterday that Sridevi drowned in her bathtub after she loss consciousness. However, a forensic report circulated on various media outlets used the term “accidental drowning” as the cause of her death.
The 54-year-old actor, known as Indian cinema’s first woman superstar, passed away in her hotel room in the Jumeirah Emirates Towers late on Saturday, leaving fans, family and friends stunned. The Dubai Police said in a tweet yesterday that it had transferred the case to the Dubai Public Prosecution which will carry out regular legal procedures followed in such cases.
“Following the completion of post-mortem analysis, Dubai police headquarters today stated that the death of the Indian actress Sridevi occurred due to drowning in her hotel apartment’s bathtub following loss of consciousness,” it said. The police had yesterday recorded the statement of her filmmaker husband Boney Kapoor, who reportedly discovered Sridevi unconscious in the bathtub filled with water. She was taken to a hospital where she was declared dead on arrival. Dubai-based Gulf News said in a report the actor was under the influence of alcohol. She fell into the bathtub and drowned, it added. However, this could not be independently confirmed.
Gulf News also attached a copy of the UAE government’s forensic report on its Twitter handle. The report, citing accidental drowning as the cause of death, has a stamp of the “Ministry of Health UAE” and the director of preventive medicine, Dubai, Dr Sami Wadie. The report mentioned the actor’s full name, Sreedevi Boney Kapoor Ayyappan, her passport number, date of the incident (February 24, 2018) and the cause of death.
Indian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Navdeep Singh Puri has asked the public not to speculate over the cause of her death. “We are in regular contact with the family of #Sridevi and other well-wishers. We share their pain,” Puri tweeted. “Our experience in similar cases tells us that it does take 2-3 days to complete processes. We leave it to the experts to determine cause of demise. Let’s be responsible,” he said.
The Dubai police informed the Indian Embassy yesterday that another “clearance” was awaited before the body could be released. Sridevi was in Dubai for a family wedding and had stayed back after the ceremonies. Her husband had flown back to Mumbai with their younger daughter Khushi, but returned to Dubai to surprise her. The news of her death, first reported at around 3 a.m. IST on Sunday, sent shock waves across India with those who knew her at a loss to explain how the star, who was present at several wedding functions in Dubai last week, could suddenly breathe her last.