Death Shatters Peace In Quiet Neighbourhood

Many residents of Razak Rd in Lautoka were shocked when they woke up yesterday to learn that Sushila Devi, 71, had been murdered. Ms Devi, was one of the oldest
22 May 2016 10:26
Death Shatters Peace In Quiet Neighbourhood
Police detectives talk to neighbours in front of the home where Sushila Devi was allegedly murdered. Photo: Charles Chambers INSET:The late Sushila Devi

Many residents of Razak Rd in Lautoka were shocked when they woke up yesterday to learn that Sushila Devi, 71, had been murdered.

Ms Devi, was one of the oldest and widely respected residents.

The crime has shattered the peace and quiet of this neighbourhood.

Residents are baffled that Ms Devi was attacked and robbed in her own home without anyone seeing those responsible.

Police said Ms Devi was found murdered with her hands and legs tied.  There were visible assault wounds on her body.

Earlier on Friday, Ms Devi had made her way into town to apply for housing assistance from the District Officer’s office, and that was the last anyone saw her alive.

She was described by close family members staying next to her house as one who spent a lot of time with relatives in their neighbourhood at Rifle Range in Lautoka.

She had two children and two grandchildren.

She lived alone in her three bedroom home and had many tenants come in and rent one of the spare rooms.

At the time of her murder, she was alone. There were no tenants.

Her nephew, Prabhash Chandra, who was one of the three to discover her body late on Friday night, said his aunt was different in that she attended both Christian and Hindu prayer meetings.

“She spent the whole of Thursday with our family where she stayed for lunch and dinner,” Mr Chandra said.

As investigators work to locate the suspect, the Fiji Police is appalled and angered by the cowardly act by someone who purposely targeted an elderly woman while she was in the comfort of her own home.

She was discovered by Mr Chand, his brother Divendra and his (Divendra’s wife.

Mr Chand and his brother had gone to his daughter Daksha’s school for parents day, and returned about 12.45pm before leaving for Ba.

They returned about 4.45pm and notice the grill door of Ms Devi’s home open and Daksha called out “grandma” but there was no answer. They thought she was resting and they left.

At around 7pm they noticed the lights were out and went and turned on the lights and locked the grill door with one of their padlocks.

By 10pm there was still no movement so they checked the hospital, thinking she may have been sick and got admitted. Then they reported to the police.

Mr Chandra said on their return, they decided to go and check again. They went around the back, one of them shone a torch through the window and saw her on the bed, tied up and lifeless.

Police are baffled because Razak Road is a densley populated area and there are houses to the sides and back of Mrs Devi’s home.

The front of the home faces Razak Road which is a busy route as it caters for residents living in Rifle Range and is a thoroughfare used by a number of motorists when exiting or entering Kashmir.

It is believed Mrs Devi was assaulted to an extent where the assault marks were clearly visible on her body.

Police were called in and after initial forensic work, Mrs Devi’s body was removed from the house yesterday morning.

Divisional Crime Officer West Acting Superintendant of Police Aliksio Lawakeni is leading a team of about 20 detectives and forensic staff working on the case.

ASP Lawakeni said investigations were ongoing and he could not comment further.

If anyone has information that could assist the investigations, please call Crime stoppers on 919..


Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki


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