NEWS

Highlands Tragedy: Father Blames Witchcraft For Deaths Of Five

Salvin Singh says it caused his separation from his wife and two children six years ago.
05 Sep 2019 11:00
Highlands Tragedy: Father Blames Witchcraft For Deaths Of Five
Salvin Singh in an earlier photo with his daughters Sanah and Samarah before the girls were found dead at the Nausori Highlands.

The father of the two children found dead with their mother and grandparents in the Nausori Highlands has blamed witchcraft for the tragedy.

Salvin Singh, 40, revealed that witchcraft had driven him away from his in-laws’ family home in Legalega, Nadi, on August 7, 2013.

The bodies of his daughters, Sanah, 11, and Samarah, 8, his ex-wife Nileshni Kajal, 34, Nileshni’s parents, Nirmal Kumar, 63, a carpenter, and Usha Kumar, 54, of Legalega in Nadi, were found at Nausori Highlands on August 26.

Mr Singh said he was a typical Hindu, but his in-laws’ deep involvement in witchcraft resulted in his separation from his wife and daughters.

The separation later resulted in his battle for custody of his two girls. One issue he claimed that he raised during the proceedings was witchcraft.

It was witchcraft, he said, that resulted in the deaths of his daughters and their mother.

From the information available, the five deaths are now being referred to in some corners as the “witchcraft case”.

Mr Singh said even though he was separated from his wife and daughters for the past six years, he met them every Saturday following the court’s decision.

In an interview at his family home in Tomuka, Lautoka, on Tuesday night, Mr Singh revealed some things that he said were never made public.

The professional counsellor and child protection officer said he stayed at his in-laws’ house in Legalega for seven years after marrying Nileshni.

“My in-laws were too much into witchcraft and I even used to pick up the witchdoctors for them and later drop them back,” he said.

“I knew that my father-in-law was practising witchcraft and in extreme conditions, he would call witchdoctors home or take my mother-in-law to them as she always used to complain of stomach pains and claim that someone has done something to her.”

Mr Singh said during the seven years that he lived in Legalega, he used to see his in-laws performing witchcraft day and night.

“When my daughters were small, I used to bathe them and whenever I saw the thread tied around their waist, I used to cut it and throw it away.

“And whenever I used to see my in-laws and other witchdoctors making a doll from dough and poking needles in it, I always took my daughters away into the bedroom.

“I never saw anyone or any family so much into witchcraft like my in-laws. I don’t know what was happening in the past six years after I separated from my wife.

“Our values were different. I’m a typical Hindu with values and I’m very religious. They were Hindus too, but they just had too much belief in witchcraft.

“My wife and daughters were obviously also dragged into it. The difference in the values and belief of my in-laws and me was the major cause of my separation from my wife.”

Mr Singh said after separating from his wife, he filed a case in court for the custody of his daughters and he fought for the same for four years.

“I remember saying in court then that my children were not safe staying at my in-laws’ place because they were practising witchcraft,” he said.

“During the four-year fight for my daughters’ custody, a lot of lawyers and magistrates who heard the case had changed.

“But I was glad that the court had given me custody of my daughters from 8 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. I visited them every Saturday and spent time with them and my wife even though we had separated.

“It was August 24 when I spent time with them, that was the last I saw them. I just didn’t have the strength emotionally and mentally to see their dead faces in the coffin last Saturday,” said Mr Singh.

A man who is a New Zealand resident in Christchurch, alleged to be a witchdoctor, is a person of interest in Police investigations into the five deaths.

The man and his wife have a stop departure order against them, which means they cannot leave the country as Police investigate the case. They have denied to New Zealand media that they were involved.

Police did not want to divulge much information on the investigations as they also await the results of tests to determine what chemical was used in the death of the five.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: avinesh.gopal@fijisun.com.fj

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