Highlands Tragedy: Couple Claim They Are Innocent

They tell the New Zealand media that they were good friends with the late Kumars
03 Sep 2019 12:05
Highlands Tragedy: Couple Claim They Are Innocent
Mohammed Raheesh Isoof AKA Kamal with wife Sangita Devi.

A couple at the centre of Police investigations into the deaths of five members of a family whose bodies were found in Nausori Highlands last week, have told New Zealand media that they are innocent.

The bodies of Nirmal Kumar, 63, his wife Usha Kumar, 54, their daughter Nileshni Kajal, 34, and her daughters Sana, 11, and Samarah, 8, were found in the early hours of August 26.

Mr Kumar’s neighbours, Mohammed Raheesh Isoof, who is commonly known as Kamal, and his wife Sangita Devi, who have a Permanent Residency status in New Zealand, were questioned by Police last week in connection with the deaths.

The High Court in Lautoka has issued a stop departure order against the couple as Police continue with investigations into the case.

In an interview with Stuff, a New Zealand media organisation, Ms Devi claimed yesterday that Mr Kumar was their good friend and neighbour at Legalega in Nadi.

“He was our caretaker, he looked after our house. Our families were close,” she said.

“We couldn’t go to our friends’ funeral. It’s not just their loss, it’s our loss too.”

Ms Devi said she and her husband could not wait to get back to their Christchurch home and get on with their lives.

At the weekend, Ms Devi told the Fiji Sun that their reputation had been tarnished by the media.

She also questioned why they were still being held within the country.

The New Zealand media outlet also quoted a source as saying that Kamal was used at least thrice by Mr Kumar and his family to heal his wife’s abdominal pains when he was in Fiji.

“He prays for them and gives them some herbal medicine or something to drink. They’ve performed rituals together at the beach and elsewhere,” the source told them.

The post-mortem showed that the five people died after ingesting some toxic substance and further tests are being carried out at the Police laboratory in Suva to ascertain what it was.

On Saturday, Police officers, with the assistance of villagers, searched the treacherous mountainous region where the bodies were found for more clues to try and solve the multiple murder case.

Police investigations are continuing.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce


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