Case Closed: Sridevi Died of ‘Accidental Drowning’ in Dubai

Sources in the Indian Consulate in the UAE said Sridevi was brought dead to the hospital.

4 min read
Sridevi in a still from <i>Chandni</i>.

After two days of investigation, the Dubai authorities on Tuesday, 27 February, allowed the repatriation of Sridevi’s mortal remains.

The government of Dubai said the public prosecutor’s office, which had earlier delayed the release of the body, decided to hand over Sridevi’s mortal remains to the family after all investigations and procedures were followed, resulting in the closure of the case.

The actor’s sudden death on 24 February had come as a shock to her fans around the globe. Officials at Dubai’s Rashid Hospital told reporters that the actor had been brought dead from the Jumeirah Emirates Tower Hotel, where she was staying.

The last rites will be performed at the Celebrations Sports club in Mumbai between 9:30 am and 12:30 pm on Wednesday. The cremation will take place at the Vile Parle crematorium at 3:30 pm.

The actor’s body is being flown in to Mumbai from Dubai in a private jet. Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor and his son Arjun Kapoor are reportedly accompanying the body.

Sridevi’s body en route Dubai airport from the embalming unit.
Sridevi’s body en route Dubai airport from the embalming unit.
(Photo: Twitter/@Khaleej Times)

According to an Asianet report on 27 February, a head injury was found on the actor’s body.

Boney Kapoor Records Statement

Dubai police, on 26 February, recorded the statement of Boney Kapoor, reported PTI. Dubai Police called in Kapoor to Bur Dubai police station for investigation. Police took his statement after which he was allowed to go back to his hotel room, sources told Gulf News.

However, in a conflicting account, Khaleej Times reported that Boney Kapoor provided his testimony on the morning of 25 February. The daily quoted Dubai Police sources as saying that Kapoor was not called for further interrogation.

Autopsy Report

The autopsy report records the time of death as 10:01 pm. However, according to a Firstpost report, the first call to the police was made at 9 pm. There is, therefore, an hour's gap between the official time of death and the first call made to the police.

“The investigation is still going on to determine the circumstances surrounding the accident as the forensic report only says that she drowned,” an official told Gulf News. The Dubai Police said initial investigation shows she drowned following loss of consciousness in the bathtub of her hotel room. According to the report, the police found traces of alcohol in the body.

Initial Reports of Cardiac Arrest

Case Closed: Sridevi Died of ‘Accidental Drowning’ in Dubai

On 26 February, The Times of India quoted forensic officials from Dubai as saying that the actor died of a heart attack and ruled out suspicion in her death.

As per Khaleej Times, Dubai Forensic Department officials suggested that a second autopsy will not be conducted on Sridevi's body.

Her Last Moments

While the hotel she was staying in refused to comment on the case, sources in the Indian Consulate told the Khaleej Times that she was brought dead to the hospital.

According to reports, her husband and producer Boney Kapoor reportedly flew down to Dubai to surprise her on the afternoon of 24 February. Khaleej Times quoted a source close to the family as saying that at around 5:30 pm, the two chatted for about 15 minutes, before Sridevi went in to the washroom. The source has been quoted as saying that when Kapoor knocked on the door to check on her, she did not respond. He then forced the bathroom door open and found her lying motionless in the bathtub full of water. He raised alarm after he failed to revive her.

The Procedure to Transport the Remains Out of the UAE

Following is the sequence of events that unfolded after the forensic report was handed over to the Kapoor family on Monday.

  • The Dubai Police issued a death certificate which stated that the cause of death was ‘accidental drowning’.
  • The case was handed over to the Dubai Public prosecution, as per procedure.
  • On Tuesday, Boney Kapoor was questioned by the Dubai Police, and his statement was recorded.
  • The Dubai Public Prosecution declared the case closed after a comprehensive investigation.
  • The body was handed over to the Kapoor family, who then proceeded with the embalming process.
  • The embalmed body was transported to the Dubai Airport to be flown out to Mumbai.
  • The Indian consulate will cancel the passport.
  • The immigration department will complete the administrative procedures.
  • The private plane will transport the body to India by late Tuesday evening.

(This is a developing story and will be updated)

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