NEWS

Highlands Tragedy: Police Viewing New CCTV Footage

New CCTV footage from a shop on the way to the highlands is being studied by Police, it is understood.
10 Sep 2019 11:25
Highlands Tragedy: Police Viewing New CCTV Footage
The cordoned off vehicle said to belong to deceased, Nirmal Kumar, was found at a supermarket car park in Votualevu, Nadi. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

A vehicle was parked on the Nausori Highlands road for a long time, a day before five bodies were discovered not far away.

This was revealed to the Fiji Sun yesterday by Amelina Qasiwale, 57, of Malevani Settlement near Tubenasolo Village in the highlands of Nadi.

New CCTV footage from a shop on the way to the highlands is being studied by Police, it is understood.

On the car sighting, Ms Qasiwale said she was at home at about 5 pm on Sunday (August 25) when she saw a vehicle from a distance.

She said she saw the vehicle shining because of the sun’s reflection on it as it was nearing sunset.

“The vehicle was stationary just after the big ‘S’ bend on the road and it was parked there for a long time,” she said.

“It was parked there for about three hours or so until dark, but I couldn’t make out the colour of the vehicle because it was quite far from my place.

“That spot usually attracts people for sightseeing or even for photoshoots after their wedding.

“A lot of people travel in the area, but since the vehicle was parked there for about three hours or so it made me suspicious.”

Ms Qasiwale has been interviewed by Police regarding what she saw on that day. Her son, Setareki Nagala, discovered the bodies of five members of a family on the morning of August 26.

The bodies of Nirmal Kumar, 63, his wife Usha Kumar, 54, their daughter Nileshni Kajal, 34, and her daughters Sanah, 11, and Samarah, 8, were found close to each other.

The Kumars granddaughter, one-year-old Samairah was found near the bodies.

She was admitted at Lautoka Hospital for a few days after being found near the five bodies and is now with her mother, who came from Australia.

A post-mortem revealed that the five people died after ingesting some kind of chemical and further tests are being carried out to ascertain what it was.

Police are not divulging much about the investigations, but it is understood that they are following some leads into the case.

They are believed to be viewing footage from some CCTV cameras along the way to the Nausori Highlands.

A shop owner in Mulomulo, which is on the way to the highlands, confirmed that Police had taken footage from the CCTV camera outside his shop. He declined to be identified.

Saiyad Begg, 54, a businessman said the CCTV camera outside his premises was not working for two weeks prior to the incident.

“This is the first time something like this happened in the area. There used to be news before of vehicles being dumped up that side but nothing of this sort,” he said.

“If the CCTV camera was working, then it would have definitely helped in solving the mystery.”

Sunil Kumar, a shop owner along the highlands road, said the CCTV camera at his shop was also not working and he had told Police the same thing.

According to Police sources, they were viewing footage from some CCTV cameras installed at shops and homes along the way to Nausori Highlands.

In response to some questions yesterday, Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro only said that investigations were continuing.

The deaths of the five family members are known in some corners as the “witchcraft case”.

A man who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand and is alleged to be a witch doctor is a person of interest in Police investigations.

The High Court in Lautoka has issued a stop departure order against the man and his wife as Police continue with investigations.

Salvin Singh, the father of the two girls who died, told the Fiji Sun last week that he had witnessed his former in-laws practising witchcraft on numerous occasions.

Mr Singh lived at his in-laws’ place in Legalega, Nadi for seven years after marrying Nileshni and he claimed to have witnessed them practising witchcraft day and night.

He said the difference in his values as a strong Hindu and in that of his former in-laws was the main reason for his separation from Nileshni.

But, he still visited his ex-wife and two daughters every Saturday and did things for them, with August 24, being the last time they were together.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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