NEWS

Highlands Tragedy: Miracle Baby’s Mother Thanks Villagers, Police And Hospital Staff

The mother of a little girl who was found alive near the bodies of her five family members in the Nausori Highlands has broken her silence. Sangeeta Devi told the
12 Sep 2019 13:10
Highlands Tragedy: Miracle Baby’s Mother Thanks Villagers, Police And Hospital Staff
Miracle baby Samaira with aunt Ranjeeta Devi in Legalega, Nadi, on September 11, 2019. Photo: Mereleki Nai

The mother of a little girl who was found alive near the bodies of her five family members in the Nausori Highlands has broken her silence.

Sangeeta Devi told the Fiji Sun from Nadi yesterday that she was grateful for her one-year-old daughter and only child, Samaira, was alive and well.

Ms Devi said Samaira had no visible injuries on her body when she saw her at the Lautoka Hospital on her arrival from Australia.

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 in the morning of August 26 in the Nausori Highlands.

Samaira was found by a villager near the bodies of her grandparents, aunt and cousins. The villager had reportedly gone out to check his cattle when he was alerted to the scene after hearing Samaira crying.

Samaira came to Fiji from Australia with her grandmother (Usha Kumar) a few weeks before August 26, to celebrate her birthday on August 31.

Her mother was scheduled to join the family a few days before that, but Ms Devi received news about the tragedy and she arrived here the next day to be with Samaira.

Ms Devi said yesterday that Samaira was well and with all relatives at her family home in Legalega, Nadi.

“She is feeling okay. She had lost a bit of weight after that day. I think she must have been missing her grandparents and others, but she’s too small to say anything,” Ms Devi said.

“There are a lot of people at home now so she is mingling with them. Maybe when the 13 days of prayers end tomorrow (today) and everyone starts leaving, then she may look around.

“She came from Australia with my mother a few weeks before the incident to celebrate her birthday. I was scheduled to come a few days before the birthday, but it was a different situation when I came.

“When I went to her at Lautoka Hospital upon my arrival, she was dehydrated but she did not have any injuries. She was just suntanned and there were no scratches on her hands or legs.”

Ms Devi thanked the villagers of Nausori Highlands who cared for Samaira after she was found.

“My baby was all alone at that time and I thank the villagers for caring for her. I will go and personally thank them sometime after the 13 days of prayers end tomorrow (today),” she said.

“I also want to thank the hospital staff for looking after her and the Police. Police are doing their best to solve the case and I’m just waiting for them to finish the investigations.

“I just want justice. The whole of Fiji and the world wants justice. I’m counting on the Fiji Police Force to solve the case and charge whoever did that to my parents, sister and nieces.

“If the culprits are from New Zealand, Australia or whichever country, then I just hope that they will never be allowed back into that country.”

Samaira. Photo: Mereleki Nai

Samaira. Photo: Mereleki Nai

Ms Devi said she was hopeful that Police would come up with something on the case by the end of this week.

The late Nileshni was the eldest in the Kumar family; Sangeeta is the second eldest and the youngest is Ranjeeta, who is married and lives in Nadi. Ranjeeta too seeks justice and is hopeful that Police will solve the case soon.

A post-mortem examination revealed that the five members of the same family died after ingesting some chemical and Police forensic officers are carrying out further tests to determine what it was.

Police have stated that investigations were progressing well and investigators were working tirelessly, 24/7, to solve the case.

They are viewing CCTV footage from several places, starting from the place where the Kumar’s family car was found in Votualevu right up to Mulomulo, which is on the way to the Nausori Highlands.

A man who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, and his wife are persons of interest to the Police and they remain here after a stop departure order was obtained against them from the High Court in Lautoka.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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