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Canecutter Haunted By Brutal Killing

Canecutter Haunted By Brutal Killing
A picture of the late Simran Sumita Singh (right), with her father Jain Andra Singh.
September 11
13:10 2015

Canecutter Jolame Maniata remembers the blood-curdling screams of 15-year-old Simran Sumita Singh as she was hacked to death on Thursday afternoon.

It keeps him awake at night, with the memories of the roadside killing at Naria Settlement, Rakiraki, still vivid and fresh in his mind.

Simran was murdered just a short distance from home at Naria settlement, as Mr Maniata was cutting cane across the road. She had just disembarked from her school bus when the attack happened.

“I was cutting cane across the road when I heard her scream,” he said.

“The attacker hacked both sides of her neck. When her father tried to stop him he attacked him and ran off.”

The victim’s father is still admitted at Tavua Hospital.

Mr Maniata said the alleged attacker, now in Police custody, was known for allegedly smoking marijuana and being mentally unstable.

The brutal killing has affected Mr Maniata because he lived just across the road from Simran’s family and was close to the Singh family.

“By the time her father reached her she was bleeding heavily,” he said.

“Even though he was injured he just cradled her in his arms and cried.”

Elder sister Shayal Singh said she would miss hearing her sister’s voice.

“We used to call each other every night and just talk about our day since I am working in Suva,” she said.

“The last time we talked was on Tuesday night and I was telling her that she can come to Suva for the holidays.”

She said her sister was bright in school and her favourite subject was commercial studies.

“She told us she wanted to further her studies and become a doctor,” she said.

Ms Singh said the family knew the alleged attacker.

“My father had known him for five years and we just don’t know why he would do this to us,” she said.

“I never dreamed this would happen. The house is quiet without her and I hope justice will be served.”

Police spokesperson Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri confirmed that a suspect had been arrested.

“He was arrested at a village near the settlement this morning and is in Police custody,” he said.

He said investigations were still underway.

“We will conduct the post-mortem later on but at the moment we will question him and continue investigations,” he said.

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