"There was a police helicopter and armed officers. It was chaos."
Following the death of a 19-year-old Punjabi woman at a house in London, her husband has been remanded in custody charged with her murder.
Mehak Sharma, who had recently arrived in the UK from India, was found stabbed to death at a property on Ash Tree Way, Croydon, just after 4 pm on October 29, 2023.
Sahil Sharma, who lived at the same address, was arrested but was taken to hospital for a minor head injury.
He appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court where he was charged with murder.
The 23-year-old is next due at the Old Bailey on November 2, 2023.
Mehak’s next of kin have been informed but formal identification is yet to be completed.
Metropolitan Police detectives are appealing to the public for more information about the fatal stabbing. It is the eighth homicide in Croydon since January 2023, making it statistically the worst borough in London.
Anyone who saw or heard a disturbance on the afternoon of October 29 at the property is urged to call the police.
Witnesses described how armed police and a helicopter swooped on the street.
It is reported that a couple, living there with a child, bought the three-bedroom terrace home for £445,000 in July and had been renting out rooms.
One neighbour said: “There was a police helicopter and armed officers. It was chaos.”
Another neighbour said: “There was pandemonium last night, there were police everywhere. They kicked the door open of the house where it happened.”
Back in Jogi Cheema, Punjab, her father said Mehak got married on June 24, 2022.
In November of that year, she travelled to Croydon on a study visa. Sharma later joined her on a spouse visa.
Her mother Madhu Bala said her daughter changed her study visa to a work one. She worked as a caretaker at Fabulous Home Care Limited.
According to Madhu, Sharma frequently harassed Mehak and threatened to kill her.
She also claimed in the days leading up to the stabbing, Sharma told her that Mehak had been frequently speaking to her. However, Madhu said she had not heard from her daughter in two days.
She later received a call from London informing her that her daughter had been stabbed to death.
Madhu believes Sharma is responsible.
She has now written to the Punjab government, including Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann, requesting arrangements to have her daughter’s body brought back to India.
Meanwhile, SSP Ashwani Gotyal, of Batala, has insisted that all possible help will be provided to the family members.