After a life spent in the camera's glare, her death, too, has become a media circus of sorts. A couple of hours ago, veteran actor Sridevi's post-mortem reports had been handed over to the Consulate General of India and her family in Dubai. The verdict seems to be finally out: The 54-year-old actor died of accidental drowning in the bathtub of her hotel room.
Local media, which have been able to access Sridevi's post-mortem report, further reported that the actor fell into a bathtub after suffering a cardiac arrest and that authorities do not suspect a criminal motive behind her death. Citing a source in the Dubai Police, a Gulf News report adds that initial investigation found traces of alcohol in her body, which may have led to the accident, but investigation is "still going on to determine the circumstances surrounding the accident as the forensic report only says that she drowned". Her body has now reportedly been taken for embalming.
Earlier in the day, police officer Mohsin Abdul Kavi from Bur Dubai police station told an India Today TV correspondent that local authorities have issued a death certificate but refused to reveal details of either the certificate or the autopsy report. He, however, hinted that this is the last leg of the formalities that have so far held up the process of repatriating her body. Business magnate Anil Ambani has loaned a private jet belonging to Reliance Transport & Travel Ltd for this purpose and the 13-seater has been standing by at the Dubai airport since Sunday. The funeral could take place today evening if things move fast enough, but there is no word from the family on this yet.
To remind you, Sridevi, arguably India's first female superstar, was in Dubai to attend a family wedding when she breathed her last on Saturday night at around 11pm. According to the local media, she had a fainting spell in her hotel room as she was getting ready for a dinner date with her husband, Boney Kapoor, and was rushed to the city's Rashid Hospital. But was declared dead on arrival and the General Department of Forensic Medicine took over.
Sources from the General Department of Forensic Medicine earlier told India Today, "Late on Sunday night, some blood samples of actress Sridevi were sent for tests." The toxicology report only came in this afternoon. According to Gulf News, the Dubai Police has now transferred the case to Dubai Public Prosecution, which will carry out regular legal procedures followed in such cases.
The Indian consulate also has to cancel Sridevi's passport and the immigration department has to wrap up the administrative procedures. Navdeep Suri, India's ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said that it normally took two-three days for such a process to be completed in Dubai but added that that Indian officials have now begun the process of repatriating Sridevi's body to India.