sohail ashraf

A mother-of-three stabbed to death in her home last night was killed eight years after her sister drowned in a lake amid fears she’d be ‘sent back to Pakistan’, it has emerged.

The victim, named locally as Saima Abid, 31, was pronounced dead when police were called to a house in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, shortly before 3am on Tuesday.

A 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder following the killing. 

Miss Abid had three young children and worked as a nurse at Royal Oldham Hospital.

Saima Abid, 31, was stabbed to death in her home in the early hours
In 2011, her sister Chamman Shan, 21, drowned in Hollingworth Lake days after saying she feared for her safety

In 2011, her sister Chamman Shan, 21, drowned in Hollingworth Lake and was found on the banking at a well-known beauty spot in Littleborough.

The student contacted police less than a week before her death saying she was concerned for her safety.

An inquest into Chamman’s death heard she feared she might be sent to Pakistan and was admitted to a women’s refuge.

Miss Abid’s cousin Farhat Abbas told the Manchester Evening News: ‘We are all really devastated about the fact she has gone.

‘She was a lovely person. She had three beautiful kids. She had a lot to look forward to in life, it’s just tragic.

‘At the minute we’re just very confused and upset. The whole family is upset.’

Pictured: Saima Abid’s husband Mohammed Chowdhry and the couple’s baby daughter

A family friend, who asked not to be named, said the victim was a ‘really good mother’ and ‘beautiful inside and out’.

They added: ‘I’ve known her all my life. She was a really good friend. I saw just a few days ago and she seemed really happy. She had a beautiful soul. It’s just really sad.

‘I woke up at 3am this morning and heard the police helicopter. I didn’t know it was out because of what happened to Saima.

‘First her sister, now Saima. It’s just devastating for the family. It’s a big shock for the whole community as well. Saima and her family are really well known. There are just no words.’

Rasool Shah, 59, a neighbour and close friend, said: ‘Yes I knew them – I saw her only yesterday, she came here and was taking a photograph.

‘I knew her as a family friend, she called me uncle. She was very good, I really miss her, I do not believe this. I had known her for about 20 years.

‘It was a love marriage so it is a big, big tragedy – it is unbelievable. It happened last night, I got the call at about 2.47am.

‘They married more than ten years ago and have three kids, one boy and two girls.

‘She was working in hospitals. ‘They had an argument a couple of days before, she complained to her own mother and father.

‘Her parents lost another daughter seven years ago.’

Royal Street resident Emma Davies said: ‘I woke and there were police everywhere. There was police tape up at both ends of the road and they were saying no-one was allowed in.

‘About 4am loads of armed police came and the helicopter was up as well. It’s too close to home, it’s horrible.’ 

Detective Superintendent Howard Millington, of GMP, said the force were keeping ‘an open mind’ surrounding the circumstances of her death.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting reference number 183 of 23/04/19, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.